Your next job is more likely to come from a referral than a posting. That means your network is just as important as your resume.
As a B2B tech content writer, I rarely meet my clients or readers in person. To them, my physical existence is hypothetical beyond pixel configurations. Most of what I write about can't be touched—though I’ve often wished I could hug SQL. Everything is conceptual, visible but intangible.
Still, when I redesigned my website, all my mentors, from the copywriters to the engineers, were emphatic that I use as many pictures of my smiling face as possible. Eye contact, even simulated, hypothetical eye contact, is crucial for establishing trust.
So, for what felt like no rational reason, but to great effect, my smiling face appears on every page of my website. And those pixel collections have indeed increased conversions.
Humans are hardwired to associate eye contact with trust, even when we know it's simulated. Trust is the basis of all human relationships. Human interactions and business transactions express the relationships of the participants.
Networking is to eye contact what that slick front end is to your research database. The former is based on the latter, but that front end turbo charges both the process and the results.
Not every career path requires a web presence that extends beyond LinkedIn. But every career path requires a solid network in order to evolve. Networking is as crucial to career advancement as having a resume.
How many of the below benefits of networking do you categorize as 'nice-to-have' versus 'gotta-have'?
5 benefits of networking
- It's not enough to work hard and be skilled at what you do. Success also requires an active network. How else do you and world know what you have to offer each other?
- Networking builds relationships. Existing professional relationships are the universal go-to resource for new projects.
- You’re more likely to find your next job through a personal referral than a posting. Whether looking for data analysts or the C-Suite for a startup, most of us start with people we already know.
- Networking keeps you fresh, smart and relevant by keeping you engaged and informed in your industry.
- Networking is not selling. Don't limit your possibilities, and appeal, by attempting to sell something specific. Networking is a precursor to a professional relationship. Although not every connection will become a relationship, every connection has unlimited potential.
I got 5 points for 'gotta-have'. You?
Join WESTorg and The Society of Professional Consultants on Monday, March 11, 2019, to learn the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Networkers in a workshop led by Diane Darling