A well maintained and extensive network will be ripe with opportunity. While you may not be actively looking to change positions, to find a co-founder, or to sell your idea to a VC, it’s likely your network will regularly pass along insight into a variety of potential opportunities. This mean’s you’d be getting the first look at a position before anyone else, or the first introduction when a spot open’s up on a board.
Even if you rarely — or never — bite at the opportunity, there may be a time when you are given word about something that completely changes your perspective. Aside from opportunities in your career, your network may also offer you a chance to explore volunteer work, hobbies, or even new industry-related trends and techniques.
Personal and professional growth is crucial to a successful career. Similar to the guidance and support provided by a portion of your network, some of your contacts might also be beneficial in helping your reach new heights within your career, whether it’s pushing you to apply for a position you initially felt was out of your realm or simply inspiring you to work harder day to day.
3. Shared Knowledge
Networking is great for sharing ideas. Whether it’s asking for feedback or discussing your point of view, it will help you expand your knowledge and allow you to see things from a different perspective. It is also likely that within a group there will be people who have already been where you are today. This provides you with the opportunity to learn and avoid some of the common pitfalls they experienced. Not to mention – it feels good to give back, sharing your failures, successes and advice can help others and open your mind as well!
4. Increased Confidence
Regularly networking and pushing yourself to talk to people you don’t know, helps boost your confidence. It helps you comfort level in social situations go up and gives you the ability to think quickly on your feet! This is an important attribute as a businessperson, because personal and business growth are both dependent on talking to people and making connections.
5. Raised profile
Being visible and getting noticed is a benefit of networking that’s essential in career building. Regularly attending professional and social events will help to get your face known. You can then help to build your reputation as knowledgeable, reliable and supportive by offering useful information or tips to people who need it.
Lastly, on a more personal note – you can not only create a network of peers in you career, but you can have the added benefit of creating a network of friends with the similar interests and goals as you!