What exactly is networking? How could we all benefit from it? On the flipside what are its risks and limitations? Why is it becoming increasingly important and how can you personally benefit from it in? These are all questions that we want to adress in our article.
Let´s start with a kind of a definition:
“Networking is an active structure with people as well the maintenance of contacts and relationships with different people, resulting in a network of relationships developed. A network could comprise of personal contacts such as friends, neighbours, family and acquaintances, or colleagues, vendor partners in your professional contacts. The people within a network with diverse backgrounds, interest, knowledge, experiences, can be a good source of support.”
A good network is not only critical for success in professional life as good contacts often bring a decisive advantage but also could be really valuable in all situations of life. By and large, a good network brings two main advantages: it is an important source of information and allows the access to a pool of different abilities.
Even in this technology age where information is easily accessible, it is invaluable to “talk” to people, share experiences and best practice. The flood of information via the internet could become an endless jungle and leave individuals helpless and overwhelmed. To network with like-minded people, people facing similar challenges in life as you, learning from others’ experience will be very beneficial and helpful. First of all, you can find out that you are not alone in that situation and you can benefit from their recommendations. The contact persons might also have other skills, other perspectives and completely new recommendations and tips.
In order for you to successfully practice “networking”, here are some tips:
1. Be patient! A good network takes time to build.
2. Inform your contacts about your goals, plans, current challenges and why you are contacting that individual. With the clarity, your contacts know how they may be of assistance.
3. Be selective! It is not the quantity, but the quality of each contact that counts! A small network of close contacts can sometimes be more useful than a large network with fewer close contacts and less frequent exchanges or sharing.
4. If you are contacted by another person, please take this contact as seriously as you would have liked, as if you had reached out to someone.
5. Be gracious and appreciative to those who have provided you with valuable information or good contacts and, if possible, inform them of any positive outcomes.
6. Find out what your contacts need and try to help them as much as possible. Networking is not a one-way street!
7. Do not rely solely on your network. It can be helpful but does not always solve all the problems. So explore other opportunities to get support, help or information as well.
8. Keep an eye on the dangers and negative effects of networking. Minimize this by choosing your contacts carefully.
9. Clearly distinguish between private and professional contacts.
10. Create contact logs. It may be useful to be able review the list of contacts you have, on the challenges they face and the tips and support you have offered. You will come across as more invested and genuinely interested in supporting your contacts.
BreakYourPattern is also designed for members to become part of a community of like-minded people looking for whatever reasons for some change in life. Break Your Pattern allows you to speak openly about your challenges in a secured environment if you are a bit concerned about discussing your situation in your personal or professional surroundings. However it a platform to help you with your current problems and challenges and not to expand your group of friends.
With your FREE membership at Break Your Pattern you will find many networking opportunities and you will get fast & easy answers to your questions. There are like-minded people like you looking for some inspiration, recommendations from others. There is also a wide range of curated forum discussions around popular topics you could join. In addition to that, we have some closed group discussions focussing on certain topics which you could participate in. You will be able to sign up for Web Sessions and online meetups with experts. As a member of the community you will also get early updates about new training courses and new experts in the site.
Come explore and make the most out of the resources available to you!! Start to Meet & Chat right here:
- Complete your profile!
- Make connections!
- Join a discussion!
- Talk to experts …
Networking has many benefits and is really helpful, but contacts do not solve all our problems and challenges in life. As a member of the platform you could also access a wide range of online trainings, self-study material und find some experts if you feel some personal support would be beneficial in your situation. Have a look!