Man is a gregarious animal and cannot live alone. He needs the company of fellow beings in order to survive. While this is an innate human trait that has been in our genes for generations now, the fact remains that its importance is growing by the minute. Thus, with the society proceeding towards a more cosmopolitan and corporate living, the importance of networking is increasing everyday.
It is a general human tendency to consider the importance of networking only when they are hunting for jobs. The fact is that doing something like this will get you nowhere. In order to avail the benefits of networking to the fullest, one needs to invest in professional relationships throughout their career. Like any other relationship, professional relationships require their share of attention.
If that is done correctly, you will be amazed to see how this can set you on the path of career development. This article talks about that particular aspect of networking and how you can use it to optimise the benefits.
• Exchange Fresh Ideas
Irrespective of the field you are in, in today's highly competitive world it is important to remain up to date with what is happening in the world around. While reading journals, newspapers and blogs may be considered as something appropriate, the fact remains that most of the times we are so caught up in our busy schedule that we do not manage time for anything of that sort.
In such a situation, the easiest way by which you can ensure that you do not lag behind is to talk to people in your field. A professional conversation will not only help you build connections, but will also give you fresh perspectives and ensure that you do not lose out the competitive zeal.
• Makes You Visible
While there can be no substitute for hard work, unless your hard work gets noticed, it is of practically no use. Fresher's are often of the opinion that the fight for standing apart ends the moment you land yourself that dream job. However, that is far from being true.
In order to grow in your career you need to prove your worth to the company and establish your stand in the professional world. The only way by which you can establish your stand and get your opinion matter is by meeting and networking with as many people as is practically possible.
• Helping Others
While it is true that your career belongs to you alone and it is your responsibility to ensure that it is a success, by helping others we end up feeling much better about ourselves. Thus, while anything we do in the professional world is rarely altruistic, networking gives one the chance to be true to oneself and feel good by doing something for someone else.
• Expand Your Support Network
Your professional life is a webbed one. Here, what goes around also comes around. Today you might be interviewing a candidate for a position that is inferior to that of your own. Five years down the line the same candidate may be working for some other company in a position that is superior to that of your own and you may need their referral to get a job in that company.
A number of such situations may arise. Thus, one of the best ways to ensure that you have the support for growth throughout your career is to try to be in the good books of as many people as possible.
• Boosts Your Confidence
Speaking of the importance of networking in one's career, increase in self-confidence is not the first thing that comes to one's mind. However, it is important to realise that not everyone is an extrovert. If you are an introvert who is looking forward to advancing in their career, having people ask you for an introduction or your opinion on a subject will play a significant role in improving your morale. This will not just help develop your personality, but will set you on a path of professional growth and success.
• Makes You More Resourceful
Today's young college students are of the opinion that there is nothing that Google cannot answer. While this is true in most of the cases, there are a lot of professional queries that the best of search engines will not be able to help you with. As someone who has recently entered a particular field you may have tons of such questions.
By networking with more people in your field, you will get all those questions answered. In one's career journey it is not possible for a person to know everything all the time. By acing networking you will learn what to do to get a task done even when you yourself are unable to complete it yourself. Thus, networking improves your resourcefulness and competency.
• Opens Doors To New Opportunities
It may so happen that you are pretty much satisfied with your current job and are not looking for any further studies or job opportunities elsewhere. On networking with other professionals, you may learn about new courses that you can take or places that you can apply in (that offer you a better nature of job or monetary compensation).
For your professional growth it is always better to keep an open mind and listen to what professionals in your field have to say. You do not really have to accept all that they believe or say. But by listening to them and their ideas, you will be in a position to form your own. Thus, the greater number of people you interact with, the more unbiased and open your perspective of things will be.