Building a great career through effective networking

Building a great career through effective networking

As the old adage goes, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Ivy League schools such as Harvard use this as a selling point for potential students promising “lifelong networking”, yet the value of networking is often times undervalued.

A couple of years ago, I came across an article about networking and the numerous benefits it provides your career. I found the article to be true as making the right connections will, without a doubt, enhance and speed up one’s success rate. Networking with the right people will undoubtedly open doors to new opportunities and new knowledge.

Here is my take on the why and the how of networking:

Why network?

If you are in the market for a job, it allows for job opportunities to present themselves. The more people you meet and network with, the higher the chances of a job opportunity presenting itself. Most of the best jobs aren’t advertised but are filled via word of mouth. Showcasing your professionalism and knowledge as well as your personality could just land you that dream job you’ve always wanted.

If you are a business owner, networking provides you with an avenue for more referrals which could turn into potential business. The wider your network of people, the more likely you are to meet individuals from different industries and backgrounds, which could lead to potential partnerships and clients.

You increase your knowledge base. Networking allows you the opportunity to meet people from different walks of life who more often than not are willing to share their knowledge and experience with you. This is an invaluable asset as knowledge is power. As Dr. Seuss said “the more you learn the more places you will go”. Although that wise saying was created to encourage reading as a source for knowledge, the same concept is true for any means by which knowledge is obtained. Often times, you will stumble upon great ideas from people that could give you a different perspective on life, encouraging creative thought and problem solving.

Networking also provides a platform for industry wide exposure. Again, the more people you meet, the different expertise you will come across which will expose you to new and different information on trade, industries and market trends. This links with my previous point about increasing your knowledge base. The more you network the more likely you are to meet people from different backgrounds who have a deep understanding of different industries and areas of expertise. Information provided by these individuals can prove invaluable to future growth opportunities.

How to network effectively?

1. Put in the time and effort to nurture relationships. Understand that building a relationship takes time. Stay in touch. Send a text or email once in a while just to say hello.
2. Pick up the phone. Take time make a call and pick someone’s brain. Everyone likes a person who is interested in them. Like the saying goes, “interested is interesting”.
3. Build a mutually beneficial relationship by giving and asking for business referrals.
4. Socialise. Send out invitations to events you host such as your kid’s birthday party or a company hosted event.
5. Join a committee, association or group that will create an opportunity for networking in your chosen field.
6. Seek advice from experts in the field. Find a mentor and build a relationship with them.
7. Stay likeable and humble. Be a people person who everyone enjoys spending time with. A bit of charm goes a long way.

Effective networking and connecting with the right people is essential for long term success and growth. Everyone needs a support group and networking will provide you with just that.

To find out how Appco Group Asia’s global reach and local knowledge through our vast network globally can help your business grow, visit our website.

Adrian Chua is a Senior Promoting Owner at Appco Group Asia and is the Country Manager at Appco Group Singapore.