The benefits of networking extend beyond finding new employment opportunities and growing your career. Stronger relationships can improve all facets of life as your network expands.
A network of colleagues and friends provides advice and support, fosters creativity through fresh ideas, offers varying perspectives, builds self-confidence, and raises your profile. In fact, studies show that people with large networks are generally healthier and happier.
However, networking involves much more than handshakes and exchanging information. Some think of it as a process of selling yourself, which seems daunting for many people.
First, use available technology to clean up your social media outlets by separating social and business accounts from one another. Then, update your accounts regularly with fresh content that is professional and interesting.
While social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter each have their own strengths, creating a LinkedIn profile is imperative for business networking, as 70 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs use the platform exclusively.
While you might make initial connections through online services, face-to-face meetings are still the most important way to engage folks in your network and make long-lasting impressions. Step away from your computer, and step outside of your office to meet people personally through community service clubs and professional associations.
Networking is how business and contracts develop, projects are funded and finished, and how artists and professionals become famous. Master the art of networking by connecting strategically.