Professional Networking: Why you should be doing it.

Whatever line of work you’re in, learning how to network professionally is an important skill. There are many benefits of networking. In this blog, we have highlighted why networking is important and how to network effectively.

What is professional networking?

It’s building and maintaining relationships with professionals in your industry so that you can create a network of support, share job opportunities, make referrals, and learn from the experiences of other people.

What are the benefits?

If you’ve ever received an exciting job recommendation or contacted a previous colleague for a job reference which helped land you a job, you have experienced the benefits of networking. A professional network is also a great source of advice, new ideas and industry insights from likeminded people in your field of work.

Networking can help you with your professional growth and increase your knowledge. Simply sharing what you’ve learned in your job or asking questions about the day-to-day of a friend’s job can lead to meaningful conversations about how work can be done better and more efficiently.

One of the most important benefits of professional networking is job opportunities. When professionals share job vacancies at their company, tell a friend about a position that might interest them or ask for leads for their next role, there is the potential for referrals and introductions to hiring managers or recruiters.

Just like with our personal relationships, having a professional network can help you build a foundation of support to lean on throughout your career. The opportunity to discuss work challenges and ask for advice from your peers is a valuable part of networking — and helping someone with their work troubles may teach you something in the process too.

Building your network can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be as simple as connecting with a colleague on LinkedIn or contacting an old colleague for coffee. If you’re new to the professional world or just looking for ways to expand your network, time dedicated to networking is not time wasted.

Find a local networking group, like Bishop’s Stortford Professionals, and set aside some time to network. Setting an exact time keeps you accountable and ensures consistency in your networking approach.

Networking is a process of give and take. Be generous about sharing tips, recommendations, and insights that benefit others in the group.

Write notes after every meaningful conversation. Have you ever been in a situation where you meet someone new, have a great conversation, and then forget their name when you go to follow up? Avoid this by writing a personal note after each meaningful conversation. A few quick sentences about who the person is and what you talked about is all you need so that when you go to follow up, you'll have all the information you need. Not only will this make you look more professional, but it will also help you build stronger relationships with the people you meet.

Maintain one-on-one relationships. Follow up every time with a personalised email or message on LinkedIn. Arrange to meet for coffee or lunch to further connect. After that, it’s just a case of staying in touch by sending occasional emails, interacting on social media, and occasionally meeting up.

RecruitAbility organises an informal networking event called Bishop’s Stortford Professionals which takes place on the first Thursday of every month.  Visit our events page for more information.

We look forward to seeing you soon!  

Posted on Tuesday Jun 4