Benefits Of Having A Network
If you do not understand the true value of cultivating your networks, then you will have many missed opportunities.
It’s essential to have people within your spheres of influence that you find valuable and beneficial, and who feel the same about you. Networking is not about finding an immediate solution to something—it’s about shaping significant relationships with those whom you find a mutual connection—so you know exactly who to call when the time does come.
Taking the time to foster relationships with the right people can empower your success; and if you don’t make it a habit to do so, then here are the top five benefits of networking you’re missing out on:
Networking Increases Your Connections
I’m not just talking about adding a certain number of people to your phone list; it’s about really connecting with individuals, then BUILDING IT into a relationship. For this to work best, you need to find a commonality between you and others and discover ideas or passions you share and shape it from there. Increasing your contacts and connectors helps grow your pool of resources that you can easily tap into when needed.
Networking Enhances Your Career
Because it’s really about WHO you know! Many people find new roles through their connections and the hidden job market (in fact, we’ve developed a course all about it). But it’s not just in terms of ascertaining a new job or the prospect of advancing yourself professionally (which DOES happen); having an expansive network also gives you a place to go when you seek advice from experienced professionals about approaching your boss for a raise, or how to handle a situation with a co-worker, or if you need a mentor as you cruise (and sometimes crash!) along the road to a successful career.
Networking Boosts Your Business
Meeting new people opens you up to professional opportunities and potential clients. Through your interactions, you gain confidence as you build your business, and you find satisfaction as you contribute to the success of others. It’s about creating strong and trusting relationships with those of influence who can provide you with a possible customer, advise you on the next greatest business investment, or refer you a great candidate when YOU’RE looking to hire.
Networking Improves Your Health
Developing relationships is good for your mental and physical health and impacts your overall well-being. Forming bonds with others helps to combat loneliness and establishes a sense of worthiness. “Social connection…is the greatest predictor of long-term happiness and the greatest long-term predictor of success,” as indicated by author and speaker Shawn Achor. “What we have just found out is that it is also as predictive of how long you will live as obesity, high blood pressure, or smoking.” Having a strong and robust network directly affects your health and can make a huge difference in your life.
Networking Expands Your Knowledge
Who doesn’t like being around like-minded people? You naturally gravitate toward others who have a common goal and share the same interests as you. But you should also pursue relationships with those who know more than you, and you can learn from—either through their successes or failures. Participating in a mastermind group is a great example of this. What you get out of networking and the opportunities you’re presented with depends on your mindset, and you need to have a positive outlook to gain the most from it.
Successful networking is beneficial in helping you create the right connections with just the right people. And if you’re not doing it then you’re missing out on many potential prospects. You need to make yourself a priority in other people’s thoughts! When you’re actively networking you will be remembered. While your means of relationship-building may seem limited during our current times, there are still plenty of ways to utilize online resources such as Zoom to stay connected and also get reconnected.
7 Steps Toward Building Your Network
It's well known that networking is the key to a successful career. You can have the skills and the education, but without connections, it will be very difficult to get a job or even build a business. A recent study by Right Management found that for the fifth year in a row, person-to-person networking is the most effective way of finding a new job. Networking had a 46% effectiveness rate, compared to Internet job boards (25%), recruiters (14%), the direct approach (7%) and newspaper listings (1%).
A lot of people have trouble with networking because they are introverted, feel like they are using people and come off as selfish instead of helpful. Here are seven tips that will help you, even if you're not a natural schmoozer.
1. Focus on the right people
The secret to networking isn't to attend a networking event and pass out as many business cards as you can. It's not meeting as many people as possible in hopes something will work out. Instead, you need to concentrate on the people who you know will be able to make a difference in your career.
2. Create win/win situations.
It's very important that both you and the other party gain equally when networking. If you benefit more than the other person, he or she will feel cheated and used. When that happens, you won't be able to go back and built a long-term relationship.
3. Give before you receive.
In a networking situations, people expect you to ask them for help. If you turn that around and just offer some support, your networking partner will be grateful and want to return the favor.
4. Become a connector.
You don't always have to gain something in a networking relationship. If you can introduce people who can benefit from one another, it's just as effective. You can build a stronger rapport with multiple people and it makes you very good.
5. Remember to reconnect.
We've all had people who will contact us out of the blue after years of never touching base. When that happens, you typically don't want to go out of your way for them because they haven't put any effort into sustaining the relationship. After you choose the right people to network with, remember to stay in contact with them.
6. Use social networks.
LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are tools that you can use to connect in a personal way to different people in your industry. On LinkedIn for example, you can get introduced to new contacts through your current connections. You can also use LinkedIn as a professional database to find people who work in your professional at various companies you're interested in.
7. Start your own networking group.
One of the best ways to meet like-minded people is to establish your own networking group. You can use Meetup.com and EventBrite.com to create a series of events under a certain topic such as marketing, finance or accounting. By being the leader of the group, you will immediately become more connected and sought-out. People will want to meet you because you're the creator.