A business network can help you with everything from landing your first job to starting a business or even planning your retirement. Strategically meeting people and then maintaining those relationships can help you to build a strong, resilient professional community. Business networking may seem intimidating at times, but the benefits of regularly investing in professional relationships far outweigh any feelings of awkwardness along the way.
One of the most obvious benefits of business networking is that of professional advancement. Michael Dulworth, in "The Connect Effect: Building Strong Personal, Professional, and Virtual Networks," explains that networking "gives you access to people." Members of your business network may be able to connect you with job openings in your career field or alert you to an opportunity for advancement. For example, the administrative assistant you meet during your internship may one day make hiring decisions at the same company.
Business networking can also serve as a source of continued learning and education. Through professional contacts, you can learn about advancements in your field, as well as developments in related areas. You may be able to learn new skills as well through relationships with individuals in your professional network, such as strategies for time management and long-range planning. Dulworth recommends networking with people outside of your career field as that can allow for the development of creative and innovative ideas.
Members of your business network can be a rich source of professional guidance. Whether you are facing a college graduation or a career change, your professional contacts can give you insight and advice regarding the career options available to you. For example, you may learn about the daily responsibilities, challenges and rewards of a particular career by connecting with a member of your professional network over lunch or shadowing her one afternoon on the job. These individuals may be able to recommend the best career path from among available options.
Business networking can provide opportunities for problem resolution on both a professional and personal level. Your business network, Dulworth explains, serves as "a cadre of 'consultants' you can call on to help you deal with difficult...issues." These individuals can help to connect you with the information and resources that you need to solve a problem. For example, members of your network can recommend everything from professional conferences and events to business contractors and consultants.
Rewarding relationships may be one of the greatest benefits of business networking. The woman that you befriend in the next office may become a beloved mentor, and the man you strike up a conversation with at a community fundraiser may become a life-long friend. Business networking relationships can help you to continue to learn and grow both professionally and personally. Members of your professional network can stimulate creative ideas and encourage you toward your goals, as well as provide welcome companionship along the way.
- "The Networking Survival Guide, Second Edition: Practical Advice to Help You Gain Confidence, Approach People, and Get the Success You Want"; Diane Darling; 2010
- "The Connect Effect: Building Strong Personal, Professional, and Virtual Networks"; Michale Dulworth; 2008
- Photo Credit buisiness people image by jeancliclac from Fotolia.com
What Are the Benefits of Internet & Social Networking?
Social network sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn provide more than just a way to beat loneliness or chat with celebrities....
Benefits of the Internet for Business Managers
People discover various benefits of the Internet for business. Unlike grassroots companies that don't use the Internet, firms that do have the...
What are the Benefits of a Client Server Network?
A client server network exists between two or more computers. Typically there is at least one server and one client. Client computers...
What Are the Benefits of Computers in Business?
Computers have greatly enhanced how businesses operate in the marketplace. Technology has grown so quick that any business not using computers are...
What Are the Benefits of Working in Computer Networking?
What Are the Benefits of Working in Computer Networking?. In today's high-tech world, virtually every business needs computer networking professionals to set...
What Are the Benefits of Technology in Business?
What Are the Benefits of Technology in Business?. Technological advances in the past few decades have greatly increased the competitive nature of...
How to Build a Professional Relationship
Good professional relationships can be a rewarding way for two people to work together and help each other after moving on to...
What Are the Benefits of Networking Groups?
What Are the Benefits of Networking Groups?. Networking groups occur when people with similar professional or personal interests gather to share their...
How to Start a Network Marketing Business
Network marketing is a form of business that relies on person-to-person sales and recruiting. Individuals who earn a small profit from each...