Whether you like it or not, we are pretty sure you have heard the concept of “networking” a couple of times, which is to create a set of relationships that may be mutually beneficial in the future.
Throughout this article, we will explain to you the importance of having a solid network. However, we won’t stop there: we will also give you a few pieces of advice to build your own and learn how to use those contacts for professional benefits.
Well, we tend to separate our social from our professional life; however, in a society that is becoming more technological by the day, combining the two parts of our life may be the solution. For example, it is common to randomly meet people that captivate us, and it is important to establish affinities and preserve these relationships, that, despite being in a social context, may end up being professionally beneficial as well.
Imagine you are in a recruitment process: how can you distinguish yourself from the remaining candidates with backgrounds similar to yours? One way to do that, is to show a genuine interest in the company through networking with its employees.
This tool is also very useful to share knowledge and experiences with diverse professionals. Are you confused about your professional path? Then speak directly with the source! Make contact with those who work in the fields you are interested in and try to understand their daily tasks and career growth opportunities.
Do you want to learn new competences and how to present yourself to the professional world? Then, once again, talk to them! If you need feedback or tips, run directly to the ones who already made it. Worst-case scenario, they won’t have the availability to talk… Best-case? You will increase your network and have somebody willing to guide you.
Firstly, it is not enough to search for people who want to help; you also have to show availability to help the others. When you offer help expecting nothing in return, people will surely remember your kind attitude when you’re the one in need and will gladly help you.
Nonetheless, there is also another very important factor: social media. For the professional side, there is LinkedIn. However, to be successful in this platform and reap its benefits, it is not enough to open the website whenever you need some help. You have to be active for long periods of time: publish interesting content that incite the discussion of ideas, make comments and react to other users’ posts.
Moreover, to have posts and recommendations in your feed related to your personal interests, make connections with people who have similar interests to yours. But it doesn’t end here! You can search for other common factors, such as living area or academic background. Although it seems simple, those shared interests are the perfect ice breaker for a natural conversation.
Finally, approach subjects and other points of view with an open mind and genuine interest. Learn to listen. Even if your main goal is to obtain information or knowledge, be authentic and show your true self so that people can make real connections with you as well.
But, how can I be authentic?
In reality, you will never have a completely full and finished network; there will always be new people coming in, new learning needs and a desire to share the knowledge.
Although having a big network isn’t the goal, it also doesn’t hurt. Nonetheless, what truly matters is the quality of those connections, and if you have time to actually invest in them. Since networking isn’t just about pushing a “Connect” button, you should create relationships with those who can actually add value to your professional or personal life.
The “networking” concept, according to rockcontent, is “a way to cultivate professional relationships in several environments and use them to attain a certain goal”.
At last, now you know what networking is and its relevance. Remember that the most important thing is to take risks and not be afraid of presenting yourself to professionals, to communicate and develop relevant content in your social networks and, of course, to show as much interest in others as you expect them to show to you. Share your views, your knowledge and search for outside perspectives! Don’t just listen: try to understand. And, who knows? Maybe a professional connection is just the beginning to a wonderful friendship!
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