Being employed within the world of business, whether you are an intern or on the executive board of a company, can be cut throat. The business industry itself is traditionally known as a shark-eat-shark world. What people tend to forget is that a great skill for coping and surviving within the field is to network. There are three very important reasons why every individual should be networking no matter what field you are in — but specifically within business. Networking can provide you with the opportunity for career advancement, the chance to expand your knowledge, and also to grow your current business.
No matter the stage you are at in your career you should be looking at what could come next. The possibility to advance within your own position or into a higher status within your company should always be top of mind. I think that the reason companies do well is partially because employees want to advance themselves, which in turn transitions into advancement and growth for the company itself. Eighty-five percent of jobs are filled through networking. With this being such a powerful tool within the industry I think it is important that you take the time to hone this skill so that we may have the opportunity to grow our own career advancement through job placement.
Expand your knowledge
Knowledge is power. This statement could not be more accurate for businesses. It is always vital to know what is going on within the environment around you, future business partners, and the world in general. In a pole one-in-four individuals said that they don’t do any networking at all, another 41% stated that they want to network more frequently but don’t have enough time. This gives you the opportunity to go above and beyond those quoted to make the effort and time to network with those around you. I would say that knowledge and networking are very versatile in their relationship and the effect they have on one another. The more you know, the more you are able to network; inversely, the more you network, the more you have the opportunity to expand your knowledge with the insight and experience of like-minded individuals such as yourself.
Grow your business
In today’s world owning a business is extremely tough. It is very hard to stay afloat with so much competition and the lack of available competitive advantage separating yourself and your competitors. A lot of factors have contributed to this difficulty including the interconnection of the world globally due to the internet, as well as the consumer having marketing power and the ability to not only need products but want them too. A great way to expand your opportunity to overcome these adversities and grow your business is through networking. 68% of individuals in the workforce say they value face-to-face networking more than online communication. This means that your networking efforts are just what you need to build relationships and clientele faster and stronger than your opposition who might be taking the easy route of virtual communication with no face-to-face follow through.
Here at Fattmerchant we recognize the benefits of networking efforts and our Fattmerchant founders have seen first hand what it can do when starting and growing your enterprise. Without getting out into our Orlando community, we wouldn’t be where we are today. We would like to provide you with some additional tips for anyone still having difficulty with mastering the art of networking.
- Dress to Impress — the first impression is the most important. You want to make sure you are dressing for the job you want, not the job you have!
- Use your time wisely- Make sure you make use of the time you have during the networking event. You want to meet the person who is the reason you went to the event in the first place, but also you want to make sure you show face for those attending the event.
- Make sure you are not monopolizing anyone’s time- You don’t want to be known as someone who doesn’t know when a conversation is over.
- Make sure others don’t monopolize your time- If you feel that someone is monopolizing your time there are two ways of excusing yourself..
1) The first is to flip it around. Apologize for monopolizing their time and politely end the conversation.
2) The second option is to ask to be excused to use the bathroom — No one is going to tell you no, but make sure you are actually seen heading it that direction.
- How to get over your nerves — Be confident! Walk into the event as if you are the one hosting it. The event is your party and the attendees came to network with you.
- Remembering names- You never want to forget someone’s name. This fault tends to be one that is not easily forgiven. A key tip to remembering names is to use their name at least twice within your conversation with them. (This also makes the individual believe that you’re more engaged than the others around you.)
- Talking points- It is always a good idea to do your research before attending an event. Research current events involving the company or individuals you are wanting to speak with. And don’t forget to ask to learn more about the person you’re speaking with — everyone likes talking about themselves.
So with these tips, get out there and start networking!
Originally posted on Medium.