The saying that sometimes it’s about who you know is absolutely correct! So why is a network needed for career progression you ask. Well, your next opportunity may very well come from someone from your network.
Throughout my career, there have been times that I’ve shared opportunities with my network and vice versa. With developing my app “get the job” it was someone in my network which I use to work with who knew what I was working on and connected me with the developers who I actually knew as we were classmates in high school. Yes; it’s a small world, which is why it’s also good to be courteous and professional with everyone you meet! This is one of many examples of how I was able to use my network with working on a new project.
There are many different ways you can begin to build a network as there’s apps, social media, events and tons of websites. So where you start with building your network will be based on your comfort level. I can recall the first networking event I went to, and it was a disaster. Why was it a disaster, well I wasn’t prepared, and I didn’t have a good elevator pitch and the contacts I did make I didn’t consistently follow-up. I quickly learned from that experience and was able to redeem myself at the next networking event and was prepared and gained good contacts! I must let you know that even if you make contact and you follow-up and do everything right that there’s no guarantee the other party will reciprocate the same effort to establishing the relationship. I said all of that to say networking isn’t something you do once and that’s it; each new day will provide a unique opportunity to gain a new professional contact.
Your network can consist of family, friends and current and former co-workers. The key to seeing the benefits of having a network is when your network knows what projects you’re working on or that you’re in the job market. So whether you’re looking to acquire new clients, seeking leads on jobs or getting career advice, there are many different benefits of having a professional network.
What opportunities have you come across through someone from your network?