Four Reasons Why Should Network
Relationships are our biggest asset in life. And it's those relationships that can propel our careers forward or help our business ideas take off! Think about it...the people you already know are often your first customers or sounding board for new ideas.
Building those relationships in your career (or business ventures) is equally important. Those relationships are developed through networking and should be given priority in your life because they have the propensity to increase your net worth.
As an introvert, speaking to strangers isn’t always easy. In fact, I get anxiety when I have to do it and for those reasons, I’ll find a million reasons not to network. However, because I know it’s important to shrink fear, I now use that anxiety as a way of knowing that I’m taking steps outside of my comfort zone.
And we all know the growth and development and the wins are right outside of the comfort zone.
Here are four reasons why you should network:
Networking allows you to build relationships and make authentic connections to people you would not otherwise meet. Those connections could lead to new business or career opportunities. Not to mention, some of the connections made while networking could lead to new relationships that last forever. There is value in being able to call someone in your industry who is willing to support you and promote you to others because they personally know you.
Networking with industry people or even with people in a particular industry that you’re looking to tap into could be an avenue for acquiring new information. Meeting new folks provides a wealth of diversified opinions and experiences. When you network you can spark conversations that will garner different perspectives than your own. It can also challenge you to look at things differently than you have in the past.
Building a personal brand is hard work. There is the constant challenge to set yourself apart as an expert in a particular industry or the go-to for a specific issue area. At networking events, you can answer industry questions or provide advice through regular conversation. In that same space, you can introduce yourself and show how you help solve problems in your field. This creates visibility and that visibility gives you a platform.
Shifts the comfort zone
For some people (me!) it's difficult to start a conversation with total strangers. It’s so scary!! However, networking allows you to practice and we all know that practice makes perfect. Networking allows you to get used to speaking to strangers, even hone your elevator pitch or "create" the story that you want to share about yourself. No one has to know you have 10 cats unless you tell them that. And here's a pro tip--you can use the same conversation in all settings.
What's the scariest part of networking for you?