Jack Howley Explores the Importance of Networking for All Business Professionals
Networking is one of the most important pursuits that can be undertaken by someone who works in the business field. When people participate in many networking activities, they can build personal relationships with colleagues and mentors, strengthening their connections and providing themselves with sources of help and support for the future.
Jack Howley, a seasoned entrepreneur from Naples, Florida, explains the top reasons why networking is so important for all business professionals and gives six important tips on how to expand your sphere of influence.
Networking Helps People Find Jobs
One of the primary functions of networking is helping people explore possibilities for future employment. When your network is active, it is far more likely that you will hear about potential job openings before they are posted for the public. If you have robust relationships with people who work for companies you may be interested in working for, they may be more likely to front your name for an open position. Having a healthy number of contacts in your field will make it more likely that you will be offered jobs that mesh with your abilities and interests.
Networking Brings Insider Information About Your Field
When you need to know what is going on in your field beyond the confines of your company, it is a good idea to ask around in your personal network. You may be able to catch potential market trends and stay ahead of them thanks to this aspect of networking.
Setting Yourself Up for Professional Growth
In addition to job searching, having a robust personal network can help you with your professional growth. You will be connected with new resources that you can use to build your skills and cement your position in your field.
Six Tips for Expanding Your Professional Network
The following are six tips from Jack Howley that can help any professional build their network for maximum career success:
1. Explore Both In-Person and Online Resources
Since the world is opening up again, there will be more in-person networking events to enjoy. The local Chamber of Commerce and industry groups can give you a place to start when it comes to planning networking events to attend. Using social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn can also be a big help, but keep in mind that you need to be active on these platforms to see any results. If you put up your profile and don’t check or use it, you are wasting its potential.
2. Help Others Increase Their Network
It may seem like a paradox, but introducing others to networking partners can bring you more results for your purposes. When you introduce people, you may receive more contacts because they are grateful for your help. Most people are willing to reciprocate when they experience a good deed.
3. Always Follow Up
A personal note is always a great idea when you are networking. A handwritten thank-you note may seem “old school,” but it is a fantastic way to reinforce your memory with the people you have met. Make sure that you get everyone’s card or contact information when you are at a networking event for this purpose. If they do not have a card, you can exchange contact cards from your smartphone.
4. Offer Free Advice
One of the most clever ways to increase your professional network is to set aside time in your schedule to answer questions from the public. Many business networking experts do this on Twitter, opening one day a week to a free question and answer session with an insider view of their industry. You may be able to attach several valuable contacts using this tactic, and you will raise your image with the general business community, which can lead to better networking possibilities.
5. Be Genuine
Many people hate networking because they feel that they have to behave in a “fake” manner to induce others to like them. When people approach networking with this cynical attitude, it is understandable that they would fail to build a robust network. It is better to approach networking from a humble perspective and to create genuine connections.
6. Don’t Try to Make Your Network Too Large
Many business experts suggest that 150 is the maximum size for a network because we humans are not wired to connect with more people. You may have a thousand Twitter or LinkedIn followers, but it is highly unlikely that you have made a personal connection with all of them. The seemingly arbitrary figure of 150 networking partners is taken from Dunbar’s Number, mapped out by a British anthropologist. Focus on quality rather than quantity when planning your network.
Taking Advantage of Networking
When you follow these six tips, you will have an easier time constructing a business network to ensure your future success. One of the most crucial aspects of networking that you need to keep in mind is that you need to be kind, humble, and genuine. People who approach networking in a brash or bragging fashion are far less likely to succeed.