When I was starting out in my career more than 25 years ago, some people would look at each other with disdain and say, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, as if using connections to get a job was to be frowned upon. It gave you an unfair advantage over the rest of the field. A client said the same thing to me recently, and we talked about how connections are now seen as a huge positive. The power of networking is stronger than ever. It’s always been important, as the most successful in business would know, but in our super-connected and competitive world, I’d be using anything that gives you an advantage (and I mean anything legal).
Networks have many benefits: from bringing new customers and clients to your door, to providing learning opportunities from peers and mentors, to expanding your knowledge and experience at industry functions and events, and can be fun socially (something about all work and no play….)
Networks are a fantastic resource to be utilised when looking for a new job opportunity, and for professional development. So talk to people about what you’re doing, your goals, where you see yourself heading, what you enjoy! Discuss ideas. Proactively cultivate your network – keep in touch with interesting and knowledgeable people who may be able to open doors for you, or put you in touch with someone who can. You’ll definitely have some fun, and the effort might pay dividends when you need it most.