This column is authored by Digital Marketing Strategist, Shameem Adhikarath
Professionals use networking as a means to form relationships with others, in like or related fields, that help to expand ones’ effectiveness in an organization or industry.
A key element to effective networking is to make you known. The premise being that the more people you meet, the more people there will be to get to know you and remember who you are. You should use every professional and social opportunity to meet and connect with new people. There are plenty of networking options to help you make meaningful connections In addition to LinkedIn, you should also start networking on other professional sites like Xing, Makerbase, AngelList, Udyomitra, BranchOut, Meetup etc.
The benefits to establishing a strong network for your career are seemingly endless.
Some consider the best type of advertising to be word of mouth. The more you network, meet people and talk about your business, the greater the likelihood of connecting with someone who needs your services, or one who knows someone who does. This can be especially effective once people get to know you —not just what you do. Networking and building trust go hand in hand, especially when you can return the favor and help others get referrals too.
Your network can be an excellent source of new perspectives and ideas to help you in your career. Exchanging information on challenges, experiences, and goals is a key benefit of networking because it allows you to gain new insights that you may not have otherwise thought of. Similarly, offering helpful ideas to a contact is an excellent way to build your reputation as an innovative thinker.
People think in so many different ways, which is why it can be very useful to speak to someone in a different field, who may provide a completely new way of looking at a problem that you may not have considered. History is full of great problem solvers who zoomed out and considered a tough issue from a new perspective and suddenly were able to solve it.
Networking can help you stay on the cutting edge of technology and new business trends. These types of relationships and “inside” information can give you an advantage over your competitors by implementing new and fresh ways of doing things.
Personal and professional growth is crucial to a successful career. Similar to the guidance and support provided by a portion of your network, some of your contacts might also be beneficial in helping your reach new heights within your career, whether it’s pushing you to apply for a position you initially felt was out of your realm or simply inspiring you to work harder on a daily basis.
Expanding your contacts can open doors to new opportunities for business, career advancement, personal growth, or simply new knowledge. Active networking helps to keep you at the forefront of people’s minds when opportunities such as job openings arise and increases your likelihood of receiving introductions to potentially relevant people or even a referral for a new job.
Being present in people’s minds by being memorable and helpful when you do talk to them makes them more likely to think of you. If you combine this with the law of reciprocity, you can create some very powerful opportunities.
Professional connection bingeing, while not entirely kosher for some, provides glorious advantages for those willing to push the envelope. It’s time to realize the true magic of friendship and put its awesome powers to your advantage. And you can get started building your massive professional network by shooting me a connection request today!