You always hear about the importance of networking as if it were a must do task in order to find success in your professional career. This idea can seem as intimidating as blind dating but it’s not too hard to do.
The other day I realised that out of the seven jobs I have attained in my life only one of them was achieved without networking. I don’t think this reflects badly on nepotism but demonstrates the relevance of networking and establishing relationships with people from all walks of life.
Not all networking needs to be related to careers and ambitious people. You can establish meaningful relationships with people without ever calculating the benefit you can obtain. The jobs I have done in the past came through people I knew directly but every person was known through a different aspect of my life.
The truth is that it is much easier and sensible for organisations to hire people that are trustworthy, well known by someone or recommended to the organisation. Some workplaces even offer a financial reward to employees who bring along someone who is an asset to the organisation.
Tips on how to expand your network
Start at home
Do you know your next door neighbours, chances are they work in a steady job and are in contact with friends who work in different industries. It doesn’t hurt to create good relationships with your neighbours. It makes christmas time more pleasant and it can avoid irritating behaviour caused by getting off on the wrong foot.
Know your family
There are relatives we love to be around and others we don’t even know where they live. Nevertheless, the family is the first place to start when needing help in employment. Who else is more concerned about your well being than your immediate and extended family.
Kept in touch with old classmates?
Friends from school go off and do different things. Some succeed before others but by staying in touch with close friends from school, you can always maintain a window of relationships open for the future.
Do you play sport?
Hobbies and leisure activities is the one place that offers the most diversity in people relationships. Whether it’s the dog owners at your local puppy class or the parents at your son’s soccer club, the most interesting relationships are formed from this aspect of your life.
Things to remember
While it seems logical to create as many relationships as possible to enhance your career, it should always be done with sincerity and good intentions. The most important aspect of networking is that you should establish links with people that you like and have interests in common. Seeking friends or maintaining links for pure benefit is not a path that will reward you in the long run.
If you aren’t already, become sociable. Try to leave a good first impression and any opportunity to meet or be introduced to new people should provoke a sense of excitement and joy. It never hurts to know more people. Creating an solid network isn’t as hard as you may think.