Posted on July 21, 2020 at 4:26 PM
There’s an old philosophy that getting ahead in your career is as much about who you know as what you know. Having the right contacts and connections in your field can be invaluable.
But it can take a lot of time and extra work to make those connections. You may start asking yourself if it’s even worth your time.
The answer: Yes! And here’s why:
You are more likely to get a position
LinkedIn, one of the most popular networking sites with a career focus, has over 500 million members. Facebook has even more, with groups specific to your industry. Plus, some estimates indicate that around 85 perfect of open positions are filled through some form of networking.
You can network YOUR way
What is your mental image for networking? Is it some kind of stuffy work event or maybe a convention? Those may not work for you - and that’s ok! Many people have an idea about what networking means and get scared off. Instead of conforming to a formal or uncomfortable version of networking, find what works for you. Be honest about what types of interactions will hold you back and which will fall in line with your personality.
Networking can be a global interaction
With more businesses turning to their online presence as a way to interact with the public and more social networking done every day, your access to industry leaders is unprecedented. Whether you connect with them on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere, you can easily find the experts in your field. Try reaching out to get their opinions or advice. You may even find a mentor.
It lets you take control of your future
Instead of just relying on your hard earned skills and experience, networking allows you to connect with other professionals you may not have had the opportunity to otherwise. Sure, your boss or supervisor can see how great you are, but maybe your dream company wouldn’t get the chance unless you connect with them.
So how do you make the most of your networking efforts?
When you decide it’s time to start networking, remember that staying consistent is important. Just like hunting for a job, finding network connections can take time and a lot of tries. Do the research to find the specific people or types of people in the industry that you want to connect with. Approach them with specific praise, like an article they wrote or an accomplishment. Then, explain why you’re drawing on their experience and what you could gain from it. And always be aware of how you want them to remember you.
Networking doesn’t have to be a chore or some kind of event your dreading. We have unprecedented access to our industry leaders and reaching out can help you grow in your field and make the connections you may use in the future to climb your own career ladder.