networking benefits

More than getting a new job: The benefits of networking in 2024

There’s no doubt that networking is crucial to help your career take the next step. But have you considered there can be more to it than just landing a new job?

According to James Cook University, networking refers to the art of building professional relationships with others. Networking is a practice that is commonly done online or by attending events or forums and is particularly important in highly competitive industries such as the Public Service.

According to Forbes, developing a robust professional network is key to professional success. Research has shown that employers fill 85% of positions using personal connections.

It’s clear that gaining access to new opportunities is an important benefit of networking. Building new relationships, especially outside your usual area of influence, will open you up to opportunities you’d never previously even thought of.

However, while many people believe networking is just about helping you find a new job, according to Entrepreneur there are several other benefits to it as well, many of which may surprise you.

Learning from others

Networking can also help you to innovate by exposing you to new ideas and ways of thinking. Different people will have different ways of considering issues or solving problems. Therefore, the best networking is with people who have a perspective that differs from yours.

Have you ever wished somebody could show you the path to success? Networking allows individuals to benefit from the experience of others. By connecting with others, you can learn from their experiences. You may even find a mentor or a coach.

Showcasing your skills

Furthermore, networking allows you to illustrate your skills and develop a positive reputation. The more positive your reputation is, the more people will want to connect with you. This can increase your visibility leading to new opportunities. A positive reputation is often the key to achieving your goals. 

Health and wellbeing

Have you ever felt isolated or all alone navigating your chosen career path? Or felt like no-one understands your career challenges? Networking can assist with this too. Connecting with others from similar backgrounds can help you understand the stresses and pressures of your industry. Having faced similar challenges before, they can support you through any issues you may encounter. Having people to help with your concerns can enhance your mental health and wellbeing. Professional connections can also help you move out of your comfort zone, learn from others, and avoid making mistakes.

Poor self-esteem is not uncommon in those looking to build their careers. Through networking, you can increase your confidence in your own abilities by developing skills such as presenting, public speaking and social interaction.  The more meaningful connections you create, the more this confidence will increase.

Helping others

Many people don’t want to network because they think it is all about putting yourself out there and trying to promote your own image. But according to James Cook University, networking can also be about helping others. For example, you could use your skills to benefit a volunteer organisation. Or maybe you help someone solve a problem or get ahead in their career. While networking in this sense would be fuelled by pure intentions and genuine desire to help, who knows where it could lead?

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