Networking is an important ingredient needed for advancement in any career path. Everyone knows this, but not many actually apply it. Most professionals understand very little the impact networking can have on their careers in the long term.
The networking process may seem tedious and time-consuming considering our workload and schedules. Yet, the results are undeniable and they speak for themselves. At DigiCard, we’re all about professional networking. Here’s how you can use this tool to take your career to the next level.
What is Professional Networking?
Professional networking is a system in which professionals from a particular career path come together to share ideas, develop new innovations, and create opportunities among themselves. These professionals support each other, share vital information, and essentially spur each other to greatness.
Members of your professional network are often referred to as your contacts. There are many benefits of networking with professionals from your field, including:
1. Learning more about your career path
Choosing a career path requires that you have some knowledge of that field. Connecting and networking with professionals in the same industry will give fresh insight into how you can succeed.
There’s no career path without some form of struggle or competition. If you are a newbie, conducting informational interviews with experts in your field will help you navigate through and advance much quicker.
2. Exchanging professional career advice
If for instance you are faced with a challenge about carrying out or completing a particular project, your network is there to support you. These professionals will offer advice and relevant materials to help you through that project because they’ve already had the same experience. You can also offer the same service to your contacts based on your experience.
3. Finding prospective employees
Every year, it becomes harder to find the right talents to work with. Connecting with your network can help simplify the process of finding and hiring the right personnel for your organization. This makes your workload easier and can even make the training or orientation process go faster.
4. Landing your next project/job
Just as professional networks can be helpful when hiring or seeking a job position, the same applies when seeking a reputable employer. When trying to secure a job, talking to professionals from your field can help you make the right choices about which potential employers best serve your interests.
5. Prospecting clients
It’s a gig economy we live in now, and your ability to find and maintain clients is key to determining how long you remain in business. With the help of your professional network, you can expand your access to new clients and uncover new opportunities that you can tap into.
Tips for Building and Maintaining a Professional Network
Now that you know the importance of building a mutually beneficial relationship with members of your contact list, let’s look at some helpful tips to get you started:
Keep in touch with your contacts
One common mistake made by many professionals is to treat their contact list like a disposable item. The only time they make use of it is when there is an absolute need. This approach is wrong. As a professional networker, try to always be abreast of members of your contact list as often as possible.
Create opportunities to meet up in real life and talk about what’s going on in your field. Share ideas that foster professional growth in your field (be careful not to let out sensitive information about your organization). When you are updated with your contact, it’s easier for them to think of you when opportunities are presented.
Don’t be shy
Shyness has often been a huge barricade to unlocking the hidden treasures of your relationship. Do not let this stop you from reaping the benefits of maintaining your professional network. Thanks to social tools and platforms, it’s never been easier to reach out and create new contacts.
Lots of mutually beneficial professional relationships have been forged over the internet. Don’t be afraid to take that first step in reaching out to fellow professionals in your field. In reaching out, make sure you are providing value to your network. There should be fair exchange to ensure mutually beneficial networking.
Just as it’s become easier to reach out to others, you should also make it easy for others to reach you. Take advantage of digital technology to expand your network and create a lasting first impression.
For instance, you could invest in digital business cards for your next networking event. In addition to being unique, these electronic business cards are easier to design and share, compared to paper cards. Plus, they don’t require physical contact, which is an important factor in today’s COVID-19 era.
The phrase “no man is an island” best explains why you need a professional network and how this can help advance your career. Humans are social beings and we always appreciate opportunities that let us relate and keep up.
Treating your professional network as one of such necessity will prove to be more yielding than attending awkward social gatherings without depth. Investing in your professional network is the best way you stamp your mark within your industry and carve a niche. This will advance you on a whole new level and unlock all the doors and opportunities to excellence.
Want to get started with your own digital business cards? DigiCard is the way to go. Contact us today.