You are in a well-paid job, owning and managing a business, studying for your next career move or preparing to add a seat on a board to complement your high level management position. And you are thinking why should I network? Here are five quick reminders
- There is Another Level
At forums such as conferences, workshops, presentation and talks are people attending that hold positions you aspire for. Be active even after you have been employed and build relationships with people whose position you will one day fill. When you stay in the same circle, you will meet your peers and most likely people who do the same job as you. So move in other circles.
Move around and attend these many forums and you will meet the people in the position you are aiming for.
- It is Not Always About Job Hunting or Deal Making
It is also about influence, support, encouragement and about focusing on the person. When you have the ability to offer someone advice and encouragement with a simple thumbs up, comment or recommendation, do so. Nurturing members in your network can turn out to be beneficial for all because they will grow into something bigger or even turn out to be the industry’s big name down the road.
You could be that person mentioned in the “I could not have done it without…” speech.
- You Need Other People
You are not a Jack, Jane, Jelita or Mulenga ‘of all trades’ and there will be some questions or problems that someone else can answer for you outside of your expertise or career pathway. When you have connections with other qualified people you will save time, speed up a process and save money by calling on them. Yes you may have certain people you go to for a name or number but it is always good to keep an eye out for a new contact as sometimes people disappoint or move to another town.
Take down names, numbers and electronic addresses or ask for business cards if you do not or if you have let the habit drop, pick it up again.
- There are Hidden Opportunities out There
Among your family, their friends, your friends, co-workers, church members, clubs and associations are opportunities for you. Every one you meet can help in your career or business; as a pointer in the right direction, as a buyer, supplier, partner, broker or spreader of the word. Make use of the moments with these people to garner information and give information about what you do. You never know who you are talking to at your child’s school gate, at a family gathering or at church.
Make an effort to introduce yourself and speak to different people instead of keeping to familiar faces or leaving as soon as the gathering is over.
- It is A Skill That Needs Improving
With the right knowledge you can change the way you do business and bring in new customers, grow your business, recruit the right people, form partnerships with other professional organizations or discover investors. Exchanging phone numbers is one thing but there is a whole other world out there that can be learned to help you find work, woo customers and increase profits.
Take a leaf from the politician; no matter their background a politician is good at interacting at all levels and is always ready to try different forums to get the intended result.