"Networking is marketing. Marketing yourself, your uniqueness, what you stand for." - Christine Comaford-Lynch
Essentially, networking is so important for career growth where it allows you to build relationships and build a strong reputation. In simpler terms, networking is helping people help you.
Here are some of the key benefits that networking can bring to the table.
Building strong and solid relationships is about sharing and not necessarily taking. With that being said, by sharing your knowledge it is more than likely that this will be reciprocated and this can only happen when the relationship is trusted.
Sharing information essentially makes you become more open minded to new ideas and perceptions. Keeping this factor in mind, when you share your challenges and experiences you become aware of the insights that you might never come across of and this is exactly why networking is important. It’s all about give and take.
When you offer your knowledge and tips about things you’ve gone through and overcame this expresses a gesture of support and reliability to the contact that you are sharing this with. I this way you will build a stronger reputation when you become a frequent networker and getting noticed.
Valuable information that is being shared amongst your peers creates an opportunity to learn new business techniques. When you have a broadened network of contacts which you can use to your advantage and also share about what you’ve encountered, it creates such a unique two way path of valuable communication.
It is always beneficial to gain advice and experience from other peers when it comes down to networking. When you discuss these experiences and challenges it creates such a valuable route of guidance that can be used to an advantage.
As for networking, the more you do it the better you become. You gain social skills relevant to networking that you might not have known you are capable of and this boosts your self-confidence extremely. You will then take these factors with you into anywhere and the more you’ll grow and learn how to sustain an established connection.
It’s very important to look at things differently now and then. Sometimes you often find yourself stuck in a gap that you don’t know how to get rid of. Just by listening to others in your particular field or people that have expertise in a specific field, you are able to gain insights that you can only achieve by perceiving things differently.
In a nutshell, always prepare and plan accordingly. Have a few topics of discussion ready if you are aware of yourself being in a position where you will meet new people. Don’t forget business cards and most importantly, be authentic!
If you are situated in Durbanville, Cape Town, Western Cape, you can join BNI’s Networking Event, any Thursday. Read more about that or RSVP.