Some people say that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Well, this statement isn’t totally true. It is important for people to know who you are AND it is important for you to meet others. Believe it or not, building effective relationships in the workplace can actually catapult you into the next level of your career. The problem is, many of us don’t know how and where to start. Networking means that you recognize, create, and act upon business opportunities. Sooner than later, you should begin to build your network and here are 5 benefits in doing so:
1. Networking enhances your interpersonal skills, also known as “people skills”. Technology is great, but you still have to interact with people. At any given time, you will need to communicate with your leader, your peers, etc and these professional interactions should come natural to you.
2. Networking increases your efficiency and effectiveness. When you have a network, you are involved in relationships that have mutual benefits. For example, if you need to ask about departmental openings in your line of business and you’ve established a relationship with the recruiter; your answer is one person away. If the recruiter has a question about line of business policies in your current position, he/she can contact you.
3. Networking builds confidence. Because you are interacting with others on a regular basis, you feel comfortable speaking about yourself, your role, your job responsibilities, as well as your professional abilities. Confidence is built based upon your experience in handling situations. Success doesn’t happen accidentally and if you are willing to try, you are one step closer to being successful.
4. Networking establishes your brand. Everyone has a personal brand; the question is “what does your brand say about you”? People will not want to connect with you if you are known for substandard performance, gossip, negativity, and the like. Perhaps you should ask yourself the following: “Who am I?” Self identification is important because you cannot determine where you are going when you don’t know who you are.
5. Networking provides an opportunity for career advancement. Jobs are sometimes filled by word of mouth, which means your name should be on the right person’s lips. The people in your network can put you in touch with other people and better opportunities.
More from this contributor:
How to Reinvent Yourself
Do I Really Need A Mentor?
The Employee You Don’t Want to Become