The Benefit Of Networking (And How To Network Effectively)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 20 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

You can observe the benefits of networking in every industry and organisation. The goals of networking are to create professional connections and discover new opportunities. The possibility of creating significant relationships grows with networking and you can benefit from learning how to use it for career advancement. In this article, we examine why networking is important, list the benefit of networking and explore how to network effectively.

What Is Networking?

The goal of networking is to create mutually beneficial long-term professional relationships. Through networking, you may encounter and interact with people who can help you become more productive within an organisation while providing career advice or professional assistance. Networking helps you make genuine connections with relevant professionals and also enables you to consistently develop those connections.

Related: What Is Business Networking? (With Benefits And Types)

What Is The Benefit Of Networking?

The benefit of networking relates to the following pointers:

1. It improves business connections

You can connect with others who share your aspirations by meeting like-minded individuals in the same or a related industry. You can accomplish your professional objectives and demonstrate your skills by collaborating with others to find business solutions and explore innovative ideas. A network develops into a repository of resources you can use to address issues or share concepts. Networking can also lead to the development of enduring friendships.

Related: Top 7 Networking Skills (How To Develop And Highlight Them)

2. You may find inspiration

Sharing challenges, experiences or ambitions with others enables an exchange of ideas or insights. When other people offer input, it might bring in a flow of fresh ideas that were previously unconsidered. When you are the one giving advice, people may regard you as competent or trustworthy, which enhances your reputation and raises the possibility that they may seek your assistance in the future.

3. You become visible

Being visible is primarily about establishing yourself as a dependable and helpful professional in a particular field. As you network efficiently, people may start to identify you as a familiar face. They might want to get to know you, which gives you a chance to demonstrate your abilities and talk about what you can offer. It is more likely for you to distinguish yourself as a prospect if you are visible, especially if you are searching for new employment prospects.

4. It enhances career growth

Networking can be beneficial for you as it can open up possibilities for growth in a career. It can advance your career interests by connecting you with people who can provide advice, proofread a resume or cover letter or practise interview questions. You might also come across mentors in your field who can help you with promotions or other requests.

Related: Step-by-Step Guide For How To Make A Career Plan Effectively

5. It highlights job opportunities

Some vacant positions may not appear on a company's career site and may require inside information to locate. Your network connections may alert you about unlisted employment opportunities or even recommend you for vacant positions. For your network to provide opportunities for career progression or personal growth, it is vital to advertise your availability and communicate that you are searching for a new position. Networking can introduce self-employed persons to new customers or provide business investment advice. If you are the one hiring, networking may also help you find the right candidates.

Related: What Is A Job Fair? (Definition And Tips For Finding A Job)

6. It gives you access to information

Networking typically gives access to new and useful information, particularly when it comes from a diverse group of qualified professionals. You can learn about recent advancements or discover strategies that others in your field are employing. To remain ahead of the competition, consider establishing contact with professionals who can help you learn and develop professionally.

7. It provides career advice and support

Meeting and interacting with others who have similar challenges can offer useful recommendations or advice for strategies you may not have thought about previously. Through networking, you can meet mentors who can offer you expert advice and support as you work towards your career goals. This can help you advance in your career.

8. You can build self-confidence

Networking improves social skills and self-confidence. By starting discussions with strangers, you can develop your confidence and enhance your comfort level. By improving people skills and building business partnerships, you can enhance relationships, both in the workplace and in your personal life.

Related: What Is Self-Awareness? (And How To Become More Self-Aware)

9. It offers fresh perspectives

When you have been working on an issue for a while, it can be challenging to see its elements clearly. To help you consider the matter from a different perspective, turn to your network. A different perspective might suggest a different course of action or assist you in thinking beyond routine obstacles. By seeking feedback or guidance from your network, you can also demonstrate your trust in them and foster long-lasting relationships.

10. You may get solutions to pertinent questions

Networks can aid in forming action plans to get over a barrier or achieve a goal, often providing tough questions with realistic solutions. You can learn about new commercial trends by enquiring about a sector or you may receive a business tip regarding new and innovative technology. Asking questions yields answers that might provide you an advantage over your competition.

11. You may find personal solutions

Your network is useful for matters besides business. Perhaps you have plans to renovate your house and you meet a reliable contractor at a networking event. Your network is a source of people who can help you personally and hiring them can strengthen your business ties.

12. You develop long-lasting relationships

By networking, you can meet other like-minded professionals who might also have interests in common. Engaging with peers or specialists in your field can often assist you in creating important connections for exchanging ideas and ambitions. Your network might introduce you to acquaintances with whom you can develop strong bonds, both personally and professionally.

13. It has positive health effects

Making connections improves both your physical and mental well-being. Relationships help you establish a sense of value. Giving others advice and facilitating their success might enhance your mood. Relationship development requires a number of soft skills, like teamwork and communication, which get better every time you network.

Related: 9 Effective Business Networking Tips For Young Professionals

How To Network Effectively

Networking is typically an ongoing process. Building a network takes time, patience and consistency. Follow these steps to effectively build your network:

1. Look for professional and social opportunities

Business events are just one type of networking opportunity. Consider the many places you interact with other professionals and try networking in both formal and informal settings. As you meet others, share information on what you do or what job for which you are looking. Be sure to tailor your approach to the nature of the event in which you are participating.

2. Establish a networking strategy

Invest some time to determine which networks may benefit you more, rather than randomly selecting a networking event or a team with which you might connect. As you establish relationships within a professional network, be deliberate about how you intend to maintain them. Your relationships may be more likely to benefit you professionally if you are more intentional and attentive to them.

3. Determine your career goals

Before you network, it is critical to understand what you want from your career. For instance, think about where you see yourself professionally in ten years and establish progressive career goals to get there. You may choose where and who to network with after developing a clear understanding of your own professional goals.

Related: How To Create A Career Goals Worksheet (With Template)

4. Plan ahead

Before you attend a networking event, gather details regarding the attendees of the event and perform research if required. Have questions or topics ready for individuals you decide to approach. Remember to include topics like non-business interests also, such as hobbies or formative influences. Have business cards ready to hand out and create a system for filing contacts with appropriate details such as company, contact information and how and where you met.

5. Follow up and follow through

If you make a promise, follow through with it. If someone makes you an offer or you make someone an offer, follow up on it. Return phone calls and respond quickly to emails and texts after a networking event. To establish a strong and productive network, consistently demonstrate and uphold business standards.

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