In today’s job market, it is not just what you know, it is who you know. Why is networking important you ask? Whether it is an event in your company or within another sphere, networking is an important thing to do that can have some major benefits for your career.
1. Meet potential employers
Even if you are not looking for a new job right this second, you never know when you will be open to a new position. Networking events are a great way to meet people in your field who may be hiring managers. Meeting these people allows you to put your face to your name, even before you apply.
2. The chance to get industry advice from those who are experienced
Maybe you have been feeling stuck lately or have questions about things in your field. Attending networking events allows you to ask for advice from those who have been in your position and can help you through the situation. Even if no one knows the answer, they may be able to provide resources or point you to someone who does know.
3. An opportunity to land a new position
If you are looking for a new position, or are at least beginning the process, having a network or attending networking events can help lead to the next position. Asking those you meet or handing your resume to potential managers is a great way to get noticed. Since they already know you, they know if you are a good fit or not.
4. Potential to make new friends
You may have friends that are outside of your field, but having people you can relate to is super important. Your other friends may not understand but those in your industry can help you through things that occur in the field. Friends outside your career field are important for other things, but having a support system in your field is crucial.
5. Gives you a chance to help others
If you are a recent grad or have some experience already, networking allows you to meet those who may not have as much experience. This is an opportunity to give them some advice and tell them about your experiences. This can inspire them and give them a valuable resource to reach out to. You have people that have helped you, so view this as a chance to give back.
6. Exchange new ideas with others
If you do not meet new people in your field, you will always have the same information and mindset, preventing you from growing in your field. Networking allows you to exchange new ideas with others and learn new things. Do not be afraid to speak at conferences if they have open slots or talk to people outside your immediate position.
7. It is expected
In many fields, attending networking events is expected, especially if it is a company event. If you do not attend these events, your current position may be over. Even if that is not the case, many careers expect employees to stay active with events in the field and attend conferences to keep a leg up as to what is new in the field.
8. The opportunity to find a mentor
While you may already have a mentor, many do not. Having a mentor is not needed, but it is helpful to have someone who has experience who can guide you in your next career steps and be a role model for you. Look for someone who is doing exactly what you want, whether it is sports medicine or entertainment journalism for specific help.
9. Finding customers or clients
Many networking events and opportunities are open to employees and clients alike. Whether you are looking for a new customer or a freelance gig, meeting others can help land these opportunities. Even if the event does not invite customers, others in attendance may be able to point some your way or offer you advice for earning more. This is why networking is important to do!
10. Gain inspiration
No matter what industry you are in, things can be tough. It may be tough to see how you can move forward and you may temporarily lose motivation. You will eventually run into a rut and may be at a standstill for new ideas. Attending conferences and other networking events will give you a bunch of new ideas and inspiration for moving forward.