Networking: Why its vital to your career
Updated: Feb 24
“Students, take out your pencils and put away your books for a pop-quiz.” Remember the unanimous groan that ensued from this statement? It’s the same in coaching around the topic of networking. “I don’t have time. I have to work!” “I hate reaching out because I don’t want to schmooze.” “I don’t know what to say and the conversation falls flat.” “I hate politicking!” “That’s not me!”
(they had the…) “suspicion that politicking was a ruse designed to distract hardworking folk from their business.”― Alix E. Harrow, The Ten Thousand Doors of January
Why Network? Because 85% of jobs are filled via networking. And leafy greens are good for you. Networking is fundamental to career growth in the same way that our nutrition is linked to our health. If spinach isn’t your favorite, there are many ways to accomplish networking to meet your comfort level. Networking does not have to be a tortured activity. It simply has to happen.
If you are working in the world in the 21st century, you must network.
For your well-being- We need connection. As we learned through the pandemic, people need connection and community. Networking provides moments of connection that foster relationship in the workplace and beyond.
For connection and growth-Surround yourself with 5 people who make you grow. We become like the people we hang out with. Be very careful with whom you choose to become more alike. Network your way to growth by meeting people who are a step ahead of you. Ask for a mentor to meet with you or hire a coach to push you past what you know today.
For diversity of ideas.-It is easy to agree with people who think like you do but healthier to grow with people who don’t. We need new encounters to widen our range of known. It is in the areas of unknown that we grow, develop, and learn. Network and meet people who will broaden your horizons.
For Discovery of Opportunity.-It’s not what you do, it’s who you know. The door that is opened from the inside to welcome you is the easiest door to pass through. Keep your network healthy for new career and personal growth by invitation or request.
To live out your purpose and passion -You can only live out your purpose and passion if you open doors to new people who connect you in new ways. What brings the seasoning to life? The sharing of our stories. Your story is worth telling and connecting with.
Finally, I’m talking about authentic connections and curiosity. Politicking is for sole personal gain. Networking is a development of relationships that is reciprocal and enhancing.