Updated: Oct 22
Elon Musk dialled into another lucrative business deal. And your neighbour from down the lane finally managed a job switch.
What is the common factor? Professional networking.
Professional networking has become every person’s manna dew to climb up the ladder. People come together to build professional relationships which can help unlock a treasure box. This treasure box opens up faster jobs, vacancy whispers, referral support and more.
Whether you want to build strategic relationships within your organisation or with like-minded professionals outside your workplace, or in your business community, it’s become more crucial than ever to have your own professional network. Here’s why -
#1 Dive into a pool of robust opportunities
Your professional network is no less than a pool filled with different buckets of opportunities.
Anytime an opportunity can strike and your skills might be the best fit.
Scenario 1: You are looking for a job change within the media buying space. A company is setting up a new, in-house department to handle media buying. A small team is being recruited for the same. You hear about this opportunity in your network.
Scenario 2: You can be a CA who bakes in her free time. You've shared about your primary job & voiced your interests in your network. A member of your professional network is looking to get a healthy cake for her child's birthday. Don't get surprised if she places an order with you.
What you need to know is that you come first in line to receive updates on new vacancies or easier referrals if needed. This is why very few dare to take professional networking lightly!
#2 Secure better visibility from day 1
Do you remember the phrase 'out of sight, out of mind'? The truth is that most people having a full-time job get so entangled in the set duties of their job that . This prevents them from either to use their skills and talents fully or from highlighting them.
By involving with a relevant professional network, you can reach a wider audience and shine within your company or outside. If your professional network is an operational type (i.e. with your work colleagues and managers), you can unlock vacancies within other departments. If you’re involved with professionals outside your organisation, you can get access to exciting news about upcoming ventures or better job opportunities.
Such professional networks catch up post office hours. It can be over a weekend breakfast, mid-week zoom event, during happy-hours or at an industry-specific event. You get so many occasions to display your skills & profile.
#3 Excel in interpersonal skills
Communication isn’t a mere term. It’s a language of leadership. In today’s world, you need to know how to communicate. Talking without self-confidence is like a life-jacket without air. Both are of no avail.
Professional networks help you develop this in-demand skill by default. At first, interacting can seem intimidating. But it’s only a matter of time.
Regular meeting industry professionals can inspire you to be a better version of yourself. It gives you the confidence to interact with anybody – without fear. You learn business acumen and grow by exchanging business ideas. May also tend to find support for their business goals.
#4 Find support for your work
Running and growing business is a herculean task full of pressure and difficulty. There might be times wherein you or your team are looking for extra brains. Whether you are looking for a co-founder or, need a certain kind of expertise for a project, you can explore finding the right and capable people from your professional network.
Through your networking sessions, you can gauge wavelengths - expertise, basics of professionalism, proactivity and more.
#5 Break mind blocks and get fresh ideas
Your mind might feel trapped in a box. It's natural when you can't think of any more fresh ideas. Thinking new ideas is a daily parcel for Industries such as media, marketing, entertainment or even coding.
This is when your professional network can provide a breath of fresh ideas! For many, innovation is born out of networking.
A good way to get your mind to think in different ways is by:
· Listening to different perspectives
· Sharing knowledge with one other
· Seeking inspiration from those who have 'been there, done that'
Before you decide to start professional networking, be clear about your work goals & realize your skillset. Yes, may don’t know about their skillset as yet!
Accordingly, you can choose a professional network that best matches your skillsets & aligns with your career goals. Learning is a lifelong process and professional networks are a great source to learn and grow.