Networking: Tips for Newbies

Networking: Tips for Newbies

2 October 2023

The old adage “It takes a village” is even more true when it comes to business success. However, networking doesn’t exactly scream FUN.

Let’s face it, networking has somewhat of a bad rep, and often conjures up images of standing around and making awkward small talk with strangers. But it’s an incredibly powerful career tool and it’s totally worth reframing any negative views you may have on it. Did you know that networking is responsible for filling 85% of job vacancies?

Simply put, networking means building connections with other professionals. At its core it’s an exchange of ideas and information amongst people from the same profession or spheres of interest. Fact is, when you rub shoulders with other successful people in your industry, the insights gained can be helpful as you discover what worked for them and what did not. Besides increased visibility, a strong support network, and improved business growth; statistics show the main reason why networking is important is that it opens up new employment opportunities.

Professional networking can take many forms, including industry events, participating in online communities, joining professional associations and seeking out mentorship. It is however important not to limit your boundaries around networking. So yes, flex your confidence muscle and show up at industry and network events. Grab a drink and get a sense of what these events are about and attend as many of them as possible. Chances are someone will approach you and you’ll find yourself networking in no time.

But networking also involves informal interactions. Connect with friends of your friends with whom you share interests, that way you get to work from a place of familiarity and comfort. Your first connection could initiate onward introductions. Chatting with colleagues during breaks, sharing ideas and resources, and collaborating on projects, all involve networking.

Consider joining an organization or volunteer program and before you know it, you’ll be connecting with likeminded people, sharing common ground in the business world.

The good news is that you’re probably networking already! You’re being creative on Instagram, right?  You don’t need an extensive job history or fancy resume to stand out. Social media is an easy way to share, comment, like, and connect with peers and others in your field. This is true for people in any career: Journalists can for example post screen shots of their articles, and consultants can publish tips in their area of expertise.

The benefits of networking are endless. But remember, always consider what you have to offer as well. Networking can feel sleazy if you’re only looking out for your own benefit. Connections are a two-way street and both parties should benefit.

Building connections with the right people at the right time could be the key to taking your career to the next level. At the end of the day, what’s most important is finding a way of networking and meeting new people within your industry that works for you, whether it’s online or in person. 

Seven out of ten job openings aren’t publicly advertised. Are you networking?


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.

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