Networking can spark dread in even the most savvy and extroverted professionals. That’s why many individuals seem to skip it unless they’re in the first years of their career or in the midst of a career change. The truth is networking proves valuable at all stages of your career—even if you’re not looking for a new job. Here’s why.
Networking helps you stay on top of your industry.
Many networking events are connected to educational opportunities. Speakers, forums, workshops—all are chances to learn more about key topics that are relevant to your career. You’ll also meet people with different perspectives and backgrounds in the field, which can be helpful to your ongoing growth.
Networking helps you grow as a leader within your organization.
Networking internally in your workplace can be just as crucial as networking externally. Meeting colleagues across your team and beyond deepens your knowledge of the organization and helps you stay abreast of key opportunities, challenges and changes.
Connecting with organizational stakeholders also opens lines of communication. This allows you to stay actively involved in ongoing conversations in the organization and boosts your reputation as a leader. You’ll be in a great position not only for promotions and job title changes, but also to increase your chances of being a voice in conversations that could impact change.
Networking introduces you to future colleagues.
Even if you’re not in a position of authority to directly hire people, you can still recommend and vouch for good candidates. Networking allows you to grow your list of possibilities. The next time a role opens up, you might know just the person for the job. And as your career progresses, you’ll likely be in a better position to directly impact, if not make, hiring decisions.
Networking helps you build a support network.
We all need a little support now and then, and talking to someone who “gets it” can help.
Networking is an opportunity to connect with peers who share similar experiences and interests. Sometimes these connections become friends or a friendly face to sit with at the next event. Sometimes they can become a sounding board as you face decisions in your career or are struggling with a challenge. Other times they might even turn into opportunities for you to develop mentorship relationships, both as a mentor and mentee. All these levels of relationships can play a valuable role in your professional and/or personal life.
Networking introduces you to opportunities to grow outside of your job.
Are you interested in joining a non-profit board? Do you want to explore volunteer opportunities in your community? Maybe you’d like to join a committee for a professional organization like INCPAS?
Getting your name out there helps open these doors and keeps your name top of mind. This is also why it’s good to regularly look into and attend a variety of networking opportunities, including general young professional groups, industry-related organizations, civic groups and opportunities related to causes that interest you.
Ready to get out there and connect? Don’t miss INCPAS’s Young Pros Forum on August 23, 2023! This annual one-day event is your chance to connect with peers from across the state, earn CPE and take part in an on-site volunteer project. This year’s event will be held at the Hyatt Place in downtown Indianapolis. Learn more and register today.