If you’re anything like me, you’re tired of hearing “networking is important,” followed up by generalizations about how meeting new people can help you get placed in the career you want.
It’s blatantly obvious that knowing the right people can help you get your foot in the door, but why (beyond that) is networking so important? What exactly can you use to your advantage?
Rather than say “it’s not what you know; it’s who you know,” I’m going to flip the catchphrase on it’s head and say, who you know helps determine what you know. Here’s how:
Networking helps you learn the dynamics within your industry.
Meeting other professionals within your industry will help you gain better understanding of current trends and future forecasts. Understanding how other businesses operate will provide broader knowledge of how to approach problems and assess growth within your own business.
Networking makes you aware of your competition.
Ultimately, those who work in the same space as you, or have career goals similar to yours, are going to one day compete against you for certain positions. What better way to learn your differentiators and play to your strengths than to network with your competition?! Knowing what makes you unique in direct comparison to others can help you grow personally and professionally.
Networking helps you accelerate your professional development.
You know that one problem you come across daily, with that one software you have to use? It’s likely others within your network have come across and solved the same issue. Have your network help you out! Often the people you interact with within your professional network have experience using similar tools and software. If you’re stumped, someone in-network can likely answer your question.
What are your thoughts on networking? Have you found success in reaching out to others professionally?