March 19, 2013
Just last week we held a networking event at our offices for York Solutions clients, consultants, and Think IT members and it was a great success (putting contest and all)! Networking is hands down one of the best things that you can do for your career. Taking the time to meet new people and build your network will undoubtedly open new doors for you. At York Solutions, we are so confident about the power of networking and collaboration that we created Think IT Association for IT professionals in the Twin Cities.
Think IT actually originally stemmed from a golf networking group (notice our obsession with golf?) that York created at the height of the recession for IT leaders who found themselves in transition. We discovered that a number of people were able to find a new position based on the relationships they had formed within our group and we knew we had stumbled upon something great! Cut to 3 1/2 years, 7 groups, and over 1,200 members later and we are even more convinced of what networking can really do!
I’m sure we could go on and on about all of the benefits of networking, but here are 6 ways that networking can benefit you and your career:
- Expand Your Network. Dedicating time on a regular basis to network will greatly increase your connections. When you make a connection, you not only add someone to your network but you have the opportunity to build connections with people within their network as well.
- Increased Opportunities. The more connections you have, the more opportunities will come your way. These opportunities can present themselves in many ways such as new business, new hires, or new job opportunities. Always remember that networking and referrals are one of the most popular ways companies fill positions!
- Gain Knowledge. If you build a quality network, you will be privy to the knowledge and experiences of each and every person in it. This allows you to seek advice and gain outside perspectives. Just imagine how helpful it would be to bounce ideas off of people who have been in your shoes or from those who can see the other side of a situation.
- Better Your Reputation. The more time you spend at networking events, the more people will recognize you and all you have to offer. Show your expertise and that you are a reliable connection and people will be more likely to reach out to you with leads and opportunities. It is also important to remember that you should always be thinking about how you can help others. They will more than likely be willing to return the favor when they can.
- Improved Confidence and Self-Esteem. Networking pushes you to step outside of your comfort zone and allows you to develop your communication skills. The more comfortable you get talking to people you don’t know, the more confident you will be with yourself in a variety of situations. Presenting to the CEO? You’ve got this!
- Form Friendships. Networking can be a great tool for your career, but you also might make some friends. Through networking with like-minded and trustworthy people, it is completely possible for great friendships to form. And, hey, we all need friends!
These are just a few ways networking can benefit you both personally and professionally. When it comes down to it, the more you put into networking, the more you will get out of it. There is a great pool of untapped knowledge for you and you just need to put yourself out there to reap the benefits! It really is fun and easy. So, come on and get yourself out there! Ready. Set. Network!
Posted By: Briana Perrino