Job security is something many professionals aspire to have. However, most employees also recognize the reality that contracts are not 100% binding, lifelong agreements. This loosening of obligation can work in both directions. While employers have the freedom to go in a different direction when the business landscape changes, workers can leave an employer when the relationship ceases to align with their career goals. It can be daunting to live in the fears of what-if possibilities. That’s where networking can help you. The dictionary explains networking as “a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest.” Networking allows you to meet other professionals and build relationships that can be mutually beneficial. The opportunity to invest your time and resources well now will prepare you for whatever the future may bring. This is why social networks are an essential component of our job security and financial safety. How can we incorporate networking into our lives?
- Meet New Professionals.
Sometimes business professionals attend industry events only when they are required. Other times, employees tend to reach out to former bosses to reconnect the day before those bosses are contacted as references for a new position.
Think big picture. Try to look at things from a different angle. The strongest links in our network are built on real relationships, and those relationships are founded on contact, conversation, respect, and trust. Be proactive and carve out time in your schedule to allow you to meet more professionals in your field.
- Invest in Individuals.
A real network is a two-way street. Instead of simply asking for favors, review the list of people in your professional network and actively consider what you might have to offer them. Listen attentively when you speak to coworkers, industry connections and new acquaintances at events. Keep your ears open to learn what insight you can provide for others.
- Rely on Relationships.
If your relationships are based on real, genuine respect, they will be there when you need them. Relying on your network is like performing a trust fall. The process works better if you have enough confidence to be direct and kindly ask for what you need. And of course, you will have to be there when your professional connections reach out to you in a similar fashion. Answer the phone, return emails, and step up when you are called upon.
Networking is to the advantage of everyone involved. Small talk and casual encounters add up; every warm and genuine contact strengthens the bond that supports us in our work. For more tips on becoming a proficient network builder, reach out to the experts at Palmer Group for more industry insight.
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