Networking is establishing and maintaining informal relationships with people whose acquaintance or friendship could bring advantages such as job or business opportunities. Professional networking is a critical skill that is required for succeeding at workplace or in business. Building a strong professional network doesn’t happen overnight; these relationships have to be cultivated over time.
How does professional networking help?
- It helps to know how your job fits in the broader organizational context.
- You gain insight into the organization culture.
- You come to know about the industry developments.
- It helps in gaining willing cooperation of others.
- It helps in knowing about the existing opportunities within the organization.
- Networking may aid in finding a mentor.
- It improves chances of getting recommendations and referrals.
How to network effectively at work?
- Use your networking time to network with superiors, with peers as well as with subordinates.
- Be genuinely interested in other people.
- Give honest, sincere appreciation.
- If you have differences of opinion with others, then disagree agreeably.
- Remove opinion bias or negativity bias. Do not impose your opinion on others. Avoid making others defensive.
- Balance the exchange of information.
- Extend help. Use reciprocity to strengthen, lengthen and rejuvenate professional ties.
- Build credibility.
- Communicate with clarity and conciseness. Be a good listener.