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How Important Is Networking?

15th May 2014

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Everyone today wants to be an apt ‘networker’ and even if you don’t, the chances are someone out there wants to network with you. Many of our business and career connections come from the people we meet and who we know.

The successful networkers I know are the ones receiving tons of referrals and they continually put the other person's needs ahead of their own. This sounds painless enough but how do we go about getting into ‘networking’, and then adding and receiving value from that network?

There are some important things you need to understand before you turn up to that event with a pocket full of business cards;

Quantifying networks as a group of connections

This way will make your networking powerless in spite of common interest or links. Someone many times removed from you directly, can be introduced to you through networking and may have exactly the skill or information that you’re seeking.

Right presentation will work wonders in growing your network

People want to reach out to you either for their own personal gain or to offer you something in return. Consider what information you provide on your skills, background and interests. Choose an appropriate forum for those people you think you want to connect with.

Remember networking is all-around you

Always think about the person you’re meeting and most importantly how you might be able to help each other as a result of exchanging contact information. Everyone knows somebody, especially on this small island so who knows who you’ll end up connecting with!

Involvement is the key to networking successfully

Think of networking like meeting a new friend. You have to put yourself out there so that people know you are indeed interested in growing your connections.

Ask questions when you see a link to the information or service you’ve been looking for

Always think about how you can help those who are helping you, and you’ll soon be the centre of a thriving network. Networking is relationship building and relationships are successfully built upon the principles of ‘give and take’ or ‘reciprocity’.

Success in any field is about working with people and networking is an essential part of building value. Remember if you’re not networking, you’re not working!