Networking is only important when you are looking for a new job right? If you answered yes to this question, then this post is for you. When done right, networking should be an integral part of your daily routine. I realize with all pressing demands of work and family, it can be the piece that slips quietly by you. But investing the time to network can and WILL pay big dividends. And the time to start is now, before you find yourself in the job market. Check out 6 key reasons to make networking a priority in your busy schedule.
1. Rome wasn’t built in a Day. In our uncertain times, you never know when you may find yourself in the job market. And building a solid network takes time, a lot of time. Think of it this way, for someone to give you a personal recommendation, it’s critically important that they trust you. After all, they are putting their reputation on the line. And it’s not likely that someone will take that risk with someone that they’ve known for only a short time.
2. Recruiters bring jobs to you. How sweet would it be if jobs were brought to you instead of you having to find the opportunities? Networking throughout your career, makes this possibility a reality. By continually interacting with different groups of people, you are literally creating and spreading the word about your own personal brand….YOU! When recruiters are looking to fill positions, they frequently ask their own networks for recommendations before looking anywhere else.
3. Be more successful in your present job. Networking is like having a team of experts at your disposal. Whether you need to find a new supplier or run a difficult situation by someone with a different perspective, effective networking can boost your performance at work. Additionally, these new relationships provide fresh perspective and a continual flow of new ideas. What boss doesn’t love that!
4. Tap the “Hidden” Job Market. The sad reality is that some of the best jobs are never advertised publicly. Rather, employers often reach out to their network and ask for recommendations from their trusted contacts. When you chose not to network, you run the risk of missing out on some of the best “unpublished” job opportunities.
5. Exposure, Exposure, Exposure! Sure networking can provide exposure to help you get a job, but it exposes you to much more. By interacting with others, you may learn of a career path different than you would have ever imagined. And at the very least, you will be exposed to different ways of thinking and achieving success.
6. Stick your toe in the water. If you are contemplating a major career change, networking with folks in the job should be a critical part of your research. As your network grows and trust builds, you will have a much more complete picture of your new potential world. You can even gain insight into potential frustrations, growth opportunities and salary information.
So let me ask the same question that I did a few minutes ago. Do you believe that networking is only important when you are looking for a new job?
Hopefully you would answer that question differently now. And instead would give a resounding no….realize that the time to network isn’t tomorrow…it’s today!