Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “Networking” as the exchange of services or information among individuals, groups, or institutions. The online dictionary adds that it is specifically the cultivation of productive relationships for business or employment.
For a thriving entrepreneur or a budding student of business, professional networking is not merely fun and games. Professional networking serves as a catalyst to business development and personal growth. Now its other benefits as you scroll down this article.
1. IMPROVING YOUR CREDENTIALS
Being visible to the potential clients and partners is an important benefit of networking. You will more likely get more referrals as your name will come up when they need the services that you offer.
There are two ways to effectively get noticed. Firstly, attend as many social events and business meetings as possible. This will help build your reputation. Secondly, you may join renowned groups. Nothing can boost your C.V. even more than being an affiliate member or an active officer at an esteemed support or social group!
2. WIDENING YOUR EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
We had been looking for the final piece of the puzzle for months! You see, we need one more teacher to complete our team. A former teacher heard about our dilemma and referred her friend. Let us call the candidate Janice. I was surprised at how fast Janice adapted to our school environment. She demonstrated her remarkable skills in storytelling. In a span of a week, she was hired.
It comes as no surprise that employed or previously employed individuals would initially offer a job vacancy to someone they know personally. Networking opens your doors to this type of scenario. You may even come across certain positions that are not listed elsewhere. Whether it is a referral or an offer of partnership, you must be ready to seize the opportunities that come along.
3. RELAYING YOUR KNOWLEDGE
One of the benefits of networking that I treasure the most is its ability to ignite continuous learning. With networking, you are able to share your ideas and absorb new ones. You may politely ask for feedback or discuss about a business issue. Doing so will help you see the views of other people.
Another product is mentorship. You can find a mentor who has already been where you are today. Allowing the mentor to impart his or her nuggets will allow you to avoid the common pitfalls of the field. Alternatively, you may be the more experienced person of the bunch. It will be rewarding to help a newbie out.
4. GETTING THE POSITIVE INFLUENCE
Use networking as a tool to gain positive social influence. This includes the aforementioned idea of mentorship. Go for people who will uplift you and your business.
The people whom you frequently interact with mold who are as an individual. Being surrounded with positive entrepreneurs allows you to thrive as a business owner. This is why you must choose your social groups wisely. You do not want your credibility to be tarnished just because you are an unknowing member of a “pyramid scam” group.
5. MAKING NEW FRIENDS
Last but not the least, networking is good for building friendships. You meet each other on a regular basis. Furthermore, like-minded individuals attract one another. It is natural to form a strong bond with the group members who share the same interests, values, and beliefs as you. Some of my lasting friendships have been started from networking.
Networking allows you to embrace opportunities and to push your limits. It stimulates the confidence within as you interact and make valuable connections. As a student of business, you must place close to your heart.