Why you should get serious about networking

According to a LinkedIn survey 50% of people don’t maintain their professional networks. 

Networking is all about building relationships in your industry. Networking isn’t just about meeting people in your line of work. Networking is more than small talk- it’s about creating meaningful business connections. 

Networking can also improve your creativity.

There are three kinds of networking:

-Operational networking: forming relationships within your organization with your colleagues.

-Personal networking: shaking hands and making connections with people in your industry outside your company. The goals of these connections are for both people to further their careers. 

-Strategic networking: a combination of both. 

Here are three reasons you need to get serious about networking:

Networking can build up your reputation 

Networking builds your reputation in the industry. When you make connections in the industry you establish yourself as an expert. By sharing your knowledge you can build a relationship and become a go-to in your line of work. Furthermore it provides you with increased visibility. People can begin to perceive you as reliable and trustworthy, and this reputation can serve you well when looking for new opportunities and when you need a good reference. 

A strong network means more support

The bigger your network the more opportunities could come your way and the more supported you are in your career. From lacking expertise, need a referral or a connection or wanting a likeminded person to be your sounding board, your networking can provide you will a leg up in your work life. These challenges become easier to navigate when you’ve built a professional community you can reach out to. 

From chatting with your peers to connecting with thought leaders in your industry- the kind of support you do or don’t have can make or break your business. 

Networking increases your business and opportunities

In an oversaturated digital age, people have grown to hate advertising. Networking is a great way to get your business’s name and your own out there. People need to be aware of you to give you their business, but more importantly people want to get into business with someone they know and trust.  

Networking doesn’t just mean new clients; it can mean making your business better. Forming bonds with your industry peers helps you stay up to date with trends and helps you improve products.

Networking is not just for your business; it holds many career benefits. 85% of job vacancies are filled through networking, since only 7 out of 10 openings aren’t publicly promoted. Another survey found that 31% of job seekers found their role through referrals and connections, not through job boards. 

There is no doubt that making small talk in a conference centre or reaching out to someone on LinkedIn can sound like sandpaper on the psyche. But the rewards of networking far out weigh the temporary discomfort and risk of embarrassment one might face in the short term. 

If you’d like to start expanding your network why not join one of Atara’s events? Or check out our blog on mentorship.