I assume all of us know what networking is. I mean building a large professional and personal network – with a meaning. On a personal note: I really enjoy networking and getting to know new people. I am convinced, that it offers only benefits for all the parties involved.
Let’s get started with a couple of benefits from networking:
New Ideas and creativity
Let’s think of it this way: in your daily life as a controller in a large company, you most likely have the same 10 or 15 people you are in regular contact with. All of them are experts in their fields. But what about the other people in your company? Or, let’s be wild: the other people in the building outside of your company?
Sure, in the first step one might think: why should I speak to the kindergartener or to the SAP developer, when I am a controller? I hear you, but let’s look at the numbers: it is said, that by a chain of 7 people, you are somehow connected to every single person in the world.
I can’t say if this number is 100% accurate, but you get the point.
Now, let’s look at another example. You might be looking for a new job opportunity and will speak to the kindergartener, who mentions her husbands soccer coach’s wife, who works in human resources, is looking for someone like you! Networking already paid off.
Easy enough, the first point can also be flipped and will make it possible for you to assist others just the way they can assist you. And we all know that helping others offers a really good feeling!
Makes you (and your company) more visible and more heard
Imagine all employees of your company are registered on Linkedin. All of them have a similar background in their pictures, so at first sight you can tell that they belong to the company. Everyone now has the opportunity to comment on others articles, share them or post their opinion about something or another.
Sure, this can all go wrong, but I reckon the larger part of comments are the good and inspiring ones.
This can also be used as a great marketing tool!
There are many more benefits of networking: it becomes your resource of knowledge, may boost your self-esteem and will definitely generate new ideas and keep you up to date on the newest happenings in your, and any other, industry.
But how is networking done right? To be frank, I am not the networking expert, there are others such as Tijen who know how to do it much better and even write books, but I enjoy doing it!
Networking isn’t always easy, because it sometimes requires us to leave our comfort zone. For some events it is best to go alone, instead of bringing a friend or a colleague, which might be intimidating. But being there by yourself makes you more likely to speak to other people. However, if it makes you feel too uncomfortable, by any means, bring your colleague!
Other times, and I have definitely experienced that, you might be in the minority of the group. As a woman you might be underrepresented at some occasions. This fact, again, might be challenging, but as written above, feel free to bring a colleague or a friend.
How to do it right
There are a few key take-aways which should be taken into account when wanting to network. Not only do these tips help to be effective, but also to stay in a good touch with the people you have connected with.
First things first: nobody is unimportant
This might be the most crucial point when networking: every person you meet has his permission and his mission. Maybe at first sight they may not be helpful for extending your customer network or similar, but in the long run, especially these contacts will be helpful – when you least think it.
There are several different types of events: for example those events, where people who all work in one market sector participate, or another where people of all ages, all industries and all genders and ethnicities attend.
Both types are important, but I think the latter type of events is even more useful, especially to give you more inspiration. When speaking to younger or older participants, you might notice how they have a different view on things and current topics and both may be right – just seeing from a different angle.
Once you have interacted with a person, I would suggest to stay connected somehow: using a social career network such as LinkedIn or Xing, or any other way you prefer. This way the contacts you already have will benefit from your new contacts – and the other way around.
Where to find events to attend
For every industry there are specific meetups, but as mentioned above try going to one of the multidisciplinary ones. We at adoptr like to attend meetups from 12min.me and for everyone in Bremen, please stay tuned as 12min.me will come to Bremen as of the 12th of September 2019!
These events are perfect, as they are short, people do not come there to push their company, but to inspire others by their talks and you get to meet between 60 and 120 people in one go!
Why we think a large network lays the foundation for great work
Let’s be honest: we at adoptr are a total of 5 people. Surely we are not experts in every field – but thanks to our network, we can find somebody who is an expert!
Furthermore it helps to connect companies and people with each other and to form long-standing relationships, which is part of the future of working together!
So, feel free to connect to all of the adoptrs and we would love to read your take on networking in the comments!