Did you know that about 70% of people end up in their current job due to networking? As a young business professional looking to grow your career, there are areas of business that are more beneficial than others. Networking should be a big focus for any business professional no matter how long they’ve been in the job market. Networking is the most beneficial way to expand your circle of colleagues and job opportunities. We have had the privilege of working with Sarah Moore, a social media specialist from Prisma Health, and Randy Solomon, a financial literalist from the WIN Agency, to find the top networking tips in the business world. With this being said, here are the top 5 tips to improve networking skills and help grow your career.
Say Yes When You Can
When you’re engaging in networking circles, the goal is to network successfully and make connections. If you regularly attend networking groups and are coming out of them without opportunities, you might be too picky. Saying yes to the opportunities presented can look like different things. Those opportunities might be; attending events, applying for jobs, or working with a new client/partner. By saying yes to the variety of opportunities, you are interacting with networking circles in order to grow your career.
Go Beyond Getting a Job
In the business world, it is easy to experience tunnel vision and only focus on finding a job or clients. Both of these goals are good, but opening your vision can help you become a better networker, and grow your career. You can’t be everything to everyone. No company can satisfy every customer, this is why we need to focus beyond getting a job or another client. By knowing clients’ problems and recommending other companies that can help, you build trust between you and your client. Doing this regularly will help strengthen customer relationships outside of work. This will also build your reputation as a good networker and helps grow your career.
Become the Connector
Becoming the connector seems a lot like going beyond getting the job, in reality, becoming the connector is something that can be used in all aspects of life. Networking is something that is not be restricted to your business life. You can use networking in your personal life, relationships, etc. Becoming the connector means that you are an invaluable resource to everyone you come in contact with. Some groups to join to help make connections are Greenville Chamber and YoPro Know. By going out of your way connecting and recommending people/businesses, you strengthen everyday relationships. In doing this, you become the person potential customers come to when they have a question or problem. Because of this, your career grows.
Read Three Books a Month
Every business blog says it, every experienced professional recommends it, so obviously, there is some truth behind it, reading books. Reading three books a month is a good way to expand your knowledge about lots of different topics. Besides this being a good idea in general, this is also extremely impactful for networking. You never know who you are going to meet in life. More importantly, you never know what they are interested in. You can read three books on different popular topics that might not interest you, but they could mean everything to a potential client/partner. A good source to find current and popular books is by checking The New York Times Best Sellers. By expanding this ever-increasing knowledge, you are prepared with the material needed to make connections, grow your career, and expand your network.
Expand Where You go to Network
When most people think of networking, they think of networking events, like those hosted by the Greenville Chamber. In reality, your domain for networking can be so much more. Although some people prefer attending networking events, others prefer more natural settings such as bars or golf courses. Most valuable people, such as VP’s of a company, won’t attend networking events, instead, they enjoy a drink at a bar, or play a round of golf. The most important part of networking and growing your career is thinking like the people you want to network with. Where would they hang out? Where do they go after work? The more you can put yourself in their areas, the more you will find them. Some good bars for networking in the Greenville SC area are; Pour Taproom, Halls, and the Commerce Club.
Overall, there is an ever-growing list of ways to network. With the accommodations being made for COVID, that list has been growing tremendously over the past few months. Through the time we quarantined at home, networking evolved into something that can be achieved from our computers and smart devices. Networking no longer requires us to physically attend events in order to grow our career. Although some people prefer in-person networking as opposed to online events, it is reassuring to know that no matter what is happening globally, there is always an opportunity to grow your career. The next time you are out at a networking event, or a bar, remember these tips because you never know when your next opportunity will present itself.
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