What’s the biggest, easy investment you can make in your career?
If I ask you to list the 5 most important tasks you have to do every week in your job, would you say that networking is one of them?
I would argue that networking is possibly one of the most important things you can do every week. It may not help you immediately, but my most successful clients have discovered that it’s a massive investment in their medium- to long-term careers. Why?
- You will learn what’s going on in the world and the marketplace. It’s always a good idea to know what shifts and changes might be coming your way. You may pick up ideas or learn about new technologies that could help you to do your job better.
- Networking within your organisation will get you noticed within your current organisation and help you to get that next promotion.
- Networking outside of your organisation will get you your next job when you’re bored of your current job (or you find yourself suddenly needing to leave). When people are reminded that you exist, they are more likely to throw opportunities your way.
- And networking will raise your profile with customers and clients, which makes you invaluable to your employer.
I don’t think you have to do stupid amounts of networking. If you do none, just aim to have one or two meetings a month. Just a quick coffee with an ex-colleague, a breakfast with a supplier, a lunch with a client perhaps.
If you’re interested in reading further about my approach to networking, I wrote about it in the Connecting chapter of E is for Exceptional.