Networking is a valuable skill. A lot of people seem to shy away from it because it can be awkward and intimidating, but if you do it right, it’s seamless and it can help enhance your career. All you have to do is go out and meet with professional contacts. Even if you don’t see an obvious way that someone can help you, keep that person in your list of contacts, nurture the relationship, and be prepared—they may be able to help you down the line. Here’s how local networking events can help your career.
Bring new business clients
Depending on what you do, networking events might be valuable for bringing on new clients for your company, especially if you don’t have a huge marketing budget. If you can find more business for your company, you’ll prove to your superiors you’re committed to your company and helping it grow. They’ll see your contributions to its success and reward it.
Find new job leads
Studies show that up to 80% of jobs are never advertised, meaning they’re filled through word of mouth and employees’ connections. Companies would rather hire someone who’s already known and trusted than take a risk on someone they know nothing about. And when you’re applying to jobs, you can also consult your network to find out more about your potential employers.
As you network, you’ll be developing your interpersonal skills, introducing yourself, discussing your work and achievements. The more you talk, the more comfortable you’ll become and the more authentic you’ll be when you share your expertise, experiences, goals and challenges. You’ll get better and better at communicating your views and ideas, making you more convincing, and other people will start to seek you out as an expert.
Spread your name around
The more people you know, the more people who will know you. Your name will be at the forefront of someone’s mind when they’re looking to hire someone with your qualifications, when they need to consult an expert like you, or if they need to hire your company. You want to become someone who’s trustworthy, supportive, and knowledgeable.
Share valuable information
Even when you’re not looking for anything specific, like a job or new clients, networking can still be incredibly valuable. You can learn from others’ experiences, successes and failures, exchange new perspectives and ideas, and glean advice and guidance from people.
Find a networking event
Look at websites like Meetup.com where you can search for events in your area. Consider conferences, joining networks, industry and trade associations, online networking, speed networking, personal contacts, and nonprofit events. Even in this digital age, most people prefer face-to-face networking because it helps to build trust and understanding. Do your best to listen attentively, remember names, follow up on conversations and promised emails, share your knowledge, and keep networking.
For more tips on keeping your employees motivated, happy and engaged at work, contact our team today.