Networking – Why it helps you thrive and grow

Networking: Why it helps you grow and thrive

It’s fair to say that just the very word ‘networking’ strikes terror into the hearts of many.
Awkward? Uncomfortable? Authentic?
These reasons alone are enough to put professionals off….especially if you are happily employed and your career is great just the way it is right now. Networking is often only viewed as important when people feel they ‘need’ something – like new business or a new job! But getting to know people and build relationships and trust takes time.
Building authentic relationships with real people is not complicated, and actually, is pretty damn rewarding – both personally and professionally. There’s no need for it to be awkward or uncomfortable and guess what? – we do it all the time anyway! We chat to people when we’re shopping, volunteering, playing sport and in our workplace all the time. As much as anything, it’s about making a real human connection.
So, ahead of the many networking opportunities that the 2017 VRCLP Regional Summit will provide, here are a few reasons it’s essential for career success, and easy to get started now!
Sharing knowledge
Networking opens the door to a wealth of knowledge and experience. There is no doubt that people in your network will come from a variety of backgrounds, meaning you have access to a diverse range of perspectives and an valuable supply of wisdom.
A strong network means a strong support crew – people you can turn to for opinion, advice or help. And you become as much a resource for them as they are for you.
A strong network broadens your knowledge and your capability.
Have connections? Get more connections
Every person you meet will (usually) connect you to (potentially) hundreds more people. That means your professional network grows exponentially in size and value with each person you add.
A strong professional network opens doors to introductions to potential future employers, potential clients, trusted service providers and so much more.
Looking for a new accountant, hairdresser, the best coffee in town? Ask your network! You already do this with your social network…why not expand it professionally?
The All-Important “Know, Like and Trust” Factor
The know, like and trust factors are essential in positive networking. The only way you will enjoy and be successful at networking is to be your authentic self….this is how people get to know, like and trust you.
People are not going to introduce you to their wider ‘community’ if they don’t know you or like you. And they are certainly not going to be generous enough to share knowledge or assistance if they don’t believe you’re genuine. People already have competing demands for their time and attention – why should they waste it on someone that is not worth their effort?
Hidden and informal career opportunities
Networking can give you access to career opportunities that you might not even know exist!
Quite often before any job becomes public, many companies and professionals will turn to their network to see what talent may be right in front of their noses. You might not even be in the hunt for a new gig, but it’s pretty exciting when new opportunities fall in your lap!
Regional leadership programs offer so many fun, exciting and interesting opportunities to network so get out there and do it! And we look forward to you honing your skills, deepening your relationships and expanding your network at the 2017 VRCLP Regional Summit.

Kat Baddeley

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