Networking is one of the most important things you can do for your career. Here’s why you need to prioritize it even when you’re not looking for a job.
Many people don’t start to think about networking until they’re looking for a job.
Networking can be incredibly valuable for helping you land that next position. As a matter of fact, most jobs are secured through networking.
A 2016 LinkedIn Survey found that a staggering 85% of all jobs are filled through networking.
A 2016 LinkedIn survey found that 85% of all jobs are filled through networking.
But that’s not the only reason to do it. There are many more reasons why networking is important for your career. It not only helps you find new jobs, but it can help you grow professionally even when you’re not searching for a job.
Networking is crucial for career growth and increased opportunities.
Taking the time to network is an investment in your career. You may not see the value right away, but the benefits accrue to help you increase professional success.
Here’s Why Networking is Important for Your Career
Networking is valuable for your career for many reasons you may not have considered.
The benefits of making a new connection may not be evident at the time you meet someone new. But as you grow your network, you’ll begin to see the following positive results.Networking can present opportunities, broaden your skillset, and increase your visibility, among many other benefits, Here's why you must prioritize networking even when you're not looking for a job.#career #PMOT #leadership Click To Tweet
1. Provides Career Opportunities
I shared above that 85% of jobs are secured through networking. But many jobs are never even posted. Many companies have job openings that are filled purely through networking or connections.
And even if the job is posted, you may not learn about it.
You’ll drastically increase the number of opportunities you learn about through networking.
2. Provides Exposure to New Ideas
Meeting and talking with people in different industries, roles, and experiences gives you exposure to new ideas. This can broaden your awareness of what’s happening in different industries and new ways of doing things.
Through networking, you’ll become a more interesting and smarter professional.
3. Increases Your Visibility
Your career is a journey. When you secure that job or role you’ve wanted for so long, it’s not the end of your professional life. You’ll continue to grow, and being visible both in your workplace and among various career circles can be valuable.
Networking keeps you visible and more top of mind when different types of opportunities come up.
4. Presents New Opportunities
As you grow in your career and continue to network, you’ll be presented with opportunities you hadn’t previously considered. The exposure to new people will give you Or it may lead to future collaborations resulting in something wonderful.
Networking broadens the number of opportunities you’ll have in you career.
5. Allows You to Help Others
Meeting others shouldn’t be only about what you can get from them. It’s about the possibility of what the relationship might bring. Or it’s the joy of meeting someone new and learning their story.
And it can also be about how you might help them.
Be open to helping someone else in their career and you’ll see benefits from it – even if it just makes you feel good.
6. Builds Resources
As you expand your network, you’ll have more resources you can reach out to when you need ideas, need to bounce something off someone, need feedback, or guidance. When you’re seeking information and you’ve exhausted online search tools, you can reach out to your connections for additional insight or expertise.
Networking gives you a larger base of resources to access when you need outside help.
7. Increases Your Skillset
As you meet more people, you’ll get exposed to a broader range of skills and information. Learning about things happening in your industry and the various types of work people do can expose you to inspire you to learn new skills. You can learn more about what skills are in demand and trends in your career.
And networking itself takes skills that you’ll be building as you do it.
Networking helps you broaden your skill set and become more competent and confident professionally.
There are multiple reasons to build connections and expand your network.
And as you do more of it, you’ll see the benefits compound over time. Take the time to invest in growing your network, and you’ll see your career grow, too.
If knowing what to say when meeting people is hard…
Even though you now know that networking is important, it can be hard to know what to say if you’re meeting someone in a social setting.
It can be stressful to try and think of something to talk about.
And if socializing and networking isn’t something you enjoy, it can feel forced and fake.
Instead of focusing on yourself and trying to think of what to talk about under pressure, try asking questions instead.
If you want a great list of questions to have ready next time you need them, check out this list of 35 Conversation-Starter Questions for Social and Networking Events