No doubt your talent and skills are great features for getting you a good job but knowing the right people is as important. It can only happen when you go out in the market and start networking. Networking can be the most powerful tool for anyone who wants to achieve something in personal or professional life.
Networking and you:
- It can be the door between you and your dream job, or your promotion, or getting in line with your industry leaders
- It can be the support in the hour of need
- It can make your job hunt or client hunt much easier
Therefore, whenever you are in need of a new client or maybe a job, all you have to do is call upon your network to help you. Networking nowadays has become more important than you think. With an established connection, you can make yourself stand out from the competition.
So, in today’s article, we will talk about why building professional connections is a great idea for you and why you should be looking to start networking immediately. Let’s start!
Consider It a Rule of Life
Networking is very long and established practice in a freelancer’s life. Many of us, including myself, apply it each day without even noticing it. Making contacts, new relationships, or even making new friends- everything is related with networking. After all, we are humans and need each other’s support.
In today’s business world, having good, solid connections can be very helpful. After all, it’s about making solid contacts that can give you a good job. Try to figure out which of your contacts are capable of referring someone to you to any position in the industry.
You can do it by:
- Making phone calls to them
- Conducting informational interviews in person
- Writing them letters
However, before calling every person in your contact list, I would recommend you to gather your thoughts and try to figure out what you want to do.
When you have a solid track, you will be more precise. Try listing those things that can keep you focused between your discussions. Some of your contacts might recommend you to a good position if you are able to show them your abilities.
It Is Not a ‘One-Way Process’
This can be the mistake that stops you from growing. When you are starting your career, networking can be a very scary thing for you. Remember that your knowledge regarding any industry is limited when you start your career and your seniors are already established as professionals.
So, what do you have to offer that can be valuable for them? Or why would they listen to you?
The answer is very simple:
What goes around comes around and the more quickly you understand it, the better it is for you.
Return phone calls if you want people to return your phone calls. If you are looking for some help to get to a better position, you must always be ready to help others as well.
As a successful person, you have to follow these networking rules:
- You should be ready to take suggestions from your contacts
- Always follow up if someone gives you a lead or an idea
- No one forces you to start the job being referred you, but they expect you to follow up
- When you get hired, don’t forget to say some kind words or may be a simple thank you
Grab Every Networking Opportunity You Can
Finding those people that can help you is not the only opportunity you get for making good connections. At times, you miss several opportunities that would have created a solid network between you and your seniors. If your company sponsors a gaming competition or a party, many employees think of it as a day for resting at home. But, these occasions are the opportunities in which you get to meet your senior staff in an informal manner.
Being a freelancer or an entrepreneur-designer who runs a small designing firm, networking can play a vital role in your career growth and business development. Taking your business to the top level requires you to spend some time on it.
I would recommend you to grab every opportunity that you can find in meeting up with your senior members or other important people. You might think they are of no use at current stage of your career, but think of it as a future investment.
Advantages of Networking
By making good connections, you are actually buying that time for your business growth. You get more chances of moving forward when you are encircled by people who share similar thoughts and goals.
However, this is not the only advantage of networking that you can have. Here are some other advantages of networking:
1. Ideas and Knowledge Are Shared
- Meeting with new people is always exciting; you get to share new ideas and thoughts which also increase your knowledge
- Getting feedbacks and discussing your opinions with others can widen your knowledge
- It will also help see things from another viewpoint
Your seniors were in the position where you are standing now. So, try to learn new things and avoid those difficulties that your seniors experienced.
2. Confidence Level Is Increased
This is a major advantage that you can have through networking. When you speak to other people that you don’t know, you are actually increasing your confidence level. This can also be a major factor in increasing your business and taking it to the next level through your connections.
3. Reputation Is Developed
- With networking, you can have the opportunity of being visible and getting noticed by other people
- When you go to different events and business gatherings frequently, people start to recognize you
This not only increases your contacts but also builds your reputation of being a supportive person to other members. This can, no doubt, bring you more referrals and leads than you were getting before.
4. The Happiness of Helping Someone
Those who find happiness by helping others always succeed in their lives. Networking can also be a great platform to help others and achieve the pleasure of being happy. As a designer, I get happy by helping out my clients with their website issues. So, find satisfaction from helping others and you will be amazed by the results of it.
5. Making Friends
Besides business, networking can also be very helpful in making new friends. Many people have become good friends through networking because of their similar thoughts and ideas. Meeting-up frequently for helping each other out in their work tends to form strong friendship.
Attending a few events is a good idea if you want to build a solid networking. But, it is also important that you properly plan for it. Now that you know the advantages that networking can bring to you, here the some tips that you should learn in order to make your networking effective.
Here the some useful tips that you should learn in order to make networking more effective when you are attending any event.
- Before attending any event, try finding out about the audience
- Make your research about the items or topics that will be discussed
- Don’t forget your business card
- Provide your contact information to other members
- When you talk to people, take a moment in helping them out in their matters
- When someone gives you their business card, write something down on the back of it so you can easily recognize them afterwards
- Make your first impression great
- Have a listening mind rather than speaking
- Make a brief biography about yourself so that you can tell others about yourself
- List down some questions that can add value to your conversation
- Always make sure that you are totally involved in the discussion
- Make yourself visible to everyone
- Go to events frequently because the more you practice,the more you become perfect.
Should you just network with people in the same industry or on several other industries as well?
The answer to this big question is yes!
When you are out of job, you would probably want to start the next job wherever you can find so that you can pay the bills. That is why I would recommend everyone to have their contacts and connections with other industry people too because no one knows from where the help might come.
In the End
The whole point is about making connections that will be with you forever. Keep on searching for the opportunities to get in touch with those people who can help you in getting to the next level of your career. But, remember to look natural so others don’t think negative about you.
Before leaving, please share your thoughts regarding the article. If you like to add some points to it, feel free to share your feelings in the below comment section. I would love to hear about it!