The power of Networking

The power of Networking

11 July 2024

In today’s professional landscape, networking is an essential tool for any business or individual. Having a well-crafted networking strategy not only opens doors to new opportunities but also fosters long-term professional growth. This article dives into the significance of networking and the impact it can have on your career and business development.

Why is Networking important?

Networking is more than just exchanging business cards or connecting on LinkedIn. It’s about establishing meaningful relationships that can provide support, advice, and opportunities throughout your career. Here’s why I think networking is essential;

  1. Access to Opportunities:  You never know who might be in the room or when an opportunity may arise. You could meet someone who may evolve into an opportunity, weeks, months, or even years later. Remember to switch your mindset to what you can add to a networking community rather than take out – that’s when the most opportunities will find you. According to a survey by LinkedIn, approximately 85% of jobs are filled through networking. If you’re looking for a new challenge haven’t already added networking to your to-do list – you know what to do!
  • Career Development: Don’t underestimate the soft skills networking provides that will help your career progress. Confidence, public speaking, and essentially getting comfortable outside of your comfort zone are all things you will take away from a networking event. Research by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) found that 78% of managers believe networking plays a crucial role in career progression. But don’t forget, networking is a long game. You’ll find the more networking events you attend, the more your soft skills will evolve.
  • Increased visibility: Being active in your professional community will of course enhance your visibility and reputation. Remember, people buy from people. Not only will networking help build your personal brand but it will also increase business and brand perception. A survey conducted by HubSpot found that 85% of businesses cite word-of-mouth referrals as the leading source of new business, and networking is a crucial component in generating these referrals. If you haven’t already, start thinking about the ROR (Return on Relationship) you will gain from attending a networking event rather than the ROI (Return on Investment). The stronger the relationships you build, the higher the chance of people recommending you, and your services. If you’re not a right fit for one person, you and your business will be for another.
  • Support System: A robust network offers a strong support system. It automatically establishes yourself in a community and usually, if you are part of the right community, you will feel supported, and comfortable enough to ask for advice. You’ll probably find that those around you have already been through challenges that you may be facing. So, ask questions and reach out to people within your community – you never know how they could help! A study by LinkedIn revealed that 70% of professionals consider their professional network to be a vital source of support and advice when facing work-related challenges.

In a world where connections are as valuable as qualifications, investing time and effort into networking is essential. It opens doors to hidden job opportunities, facilitates career progression, and significantly enhances visibility for individuals and businesses. Start building your network today to unlock new opportunities, gain invaluable support, and achieve lasting career fulfillment.