Succeeding in business or advancing your career is all about doing great work and making connections. It stands to reason, then, that time spent networking can pay great dividends. Whether you’re just starting your career, or looking to advance to a new level internally, getting to know others and building meaningful business relationships is one of the single most valuable things you can do.When you establish or join a network, you become a member of a group of people who are willing to share contact information and exchange ideas. They are there to help. Your network can also provide advice, support, and inspiration as you develop your career.
Hidden Jobs in Your Network
Most importantly, since many jobs aren’t ever advertised, networking can be a valuable source of information about these hidden opportunities, directly from other marketers or companies who may be sponsoring events. Your network or an extended network can even put you in direct contact with the hiring leader.
Insights Set You Apart
Networking can also give you valuable information and insight to share with others. Through your network, you can learn about important news in your field: a new product or service that is being developed, for example, or a new type of training program that is yielding great results. This knowledge might be the key piece that distinguishes you from other applicants in a job search, or it might be what makes you memorable to others in your network.
Networking also gives you the opportunity to share new or interesting information. This type of interaction builds lasting relationships that can grow and develop over time. Helping others may someday benefit you in your career in return!
- 85% of jobs are filled through networking.
- 72% of people say their impressions of people are impacted by how someone appears and their handshake.
- 41% of networkers want to network more frequently but don’t have enough time.
- Only 11% of LinkedIn users have more than 100 people in their network.
It’s important to remember, however, that networking is more than the number of contacts you have. It’s about what you bring and give back to build upon the relationships that you develop.
Do Your Homework
Networking isn’t always easy. It requires a lot of effort and commitment. It also requires a willingness to put yourself and your ideas “out there”, in ways that your audience will find compelling. Smart networking and meaningful relationships to advance your career can depend on how much homework you do:
- Do some research before the event so you are prepared. What industries will be represented? Who is likely to be there?
- Think about the agenda. What do you want to accomplish? Are there specific topics or ideas you would like to explore? If you’re looking for a new position, who might be able to help you get there?
- Once you’ve asked a question, really listen to the answer. Don’t be in a hurry to advance your own agenda. Instead, what can you offer them?
- Maintain eye contact, and stay engaged during the conversation.
- Find common ground.
- Ask for help.
- Continue the conversation with open-ended questions about their career.
(Tips from: https://managementhelp.org/careers/networking.htm )
Networking requires persistence and willingness to help others without expectation. The more you develop your network and become curious about others, the more help you will get to advance your marketing career.
The American Marketing Association - AMA Toronto chapter - runs a number of local events where you can network with like-minded professionals to build and expand your network. The AMA has also just launched its very own monthly Marketing Networking Group (MNG) for members only. For further information on the MNG, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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