I took his advice and I can honestly say that I have never looked back, in fact a lot of my work now involves organising and running networking events.
When I talk to people (especially senior managers) about networking they often say "I need to get out to more events" and yet they soon forget and return to the daily grind.
Then there are those who see no benefit in networking as "it's just a load of people talking".
So as one who has observed the benefits of networking, particularly during the eight years of running www.mylfx.com events I am going to outline some advantages of regular networking.
Firstly though, let's agree what networking is and isn't in a business environment.
Networking is about renewing or building relationships with like-minded people. It involves supporting acquaintances with work-related matters and asking for support when needed.
Attending industry specific networking events helps individuals to learn and grow and should apply to all levels within an organisation.
Networking isn't about attending events with a 'hidden agenda'. Nor is it about being 'pushy' and/or hard selling your products or concepts to others. I hear a lot of stories about individuals who have become renowned for their persistent, pushy approach to networking, don't let that be you.
So why should we all network on a regular basis?
Ten Important Reasons to Network...
- Connect with fellow professionals from other organisations
- Enjoy a day in different surroundings
- Build long-term relationships
- Meet industry influencers face to face
- Ask questions of colleagues and industry figures
- Stay 'current' in terms of trends and knowledge
- Listen to speakers and enjoy inspirational presentations
- Build self-confidence
- Build a professional contact database
- Collaborate on specific projects
Plan Your Networking
Once you have decided to act and you commit to networking more regularly you should plan your events carefully. Choose those that relate specifically to your work and try to find out who will be attending.
Carry on Networking
Don't forget that networking can also continue away from events. Remember to pick up the phone every now and again. Some of the best networkers plan calls over a period of months, this helps them to maintain rapport with colleagues and associates.
The short and long term value of regular networking is almost immeasurable. Whether it helps you in your current role or enhances your future career prospects it should not be ignored.
So make a plan and get out there and make connections!