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Leadership & Management



Although modern businesses are increasingly digital,

networking is more important for career development

than ever. In a competitive marketplace, great

networkers know how to build their contacts lists to

find out about great opportunities, to stay ahead of

current issues and to build relationships in the industry.

Many people don’t realise just how important face-to-

face networking still is. Social media plays a vital role

in professional relationship management, but it is no

substitute for the eye contact, handshake and personal

experience that you get when meeting another individual.

Having been a prolific networker for many years, I’ve

built up over 5,000 contacts, many before today’s email

and social media tools were even invented. I believe the

investment I made in that slow, methodical building of

relationships has hugely paid off in terms of knowledge,

career-building and early-door opportunities. I’ve also

made some tremendous friends and helpful mentors

along the way.

There are various reasons why it makes sense to invest

in networking activity as you develop your career,

the first being its role in building professional

relationships and so broadening your access to

varied ideas, opinions, expertise and insights.

It also helps to build your profile and ensures you’re

always present when handshakes and profitable

conversations are happening. With many contacts

in the industry, you’re more likely to hear of new

opportunities early on and, if you’re highly visible,

you’ll be at the front of people’s minds when

something does crop up. People remember and want

to work with people that they like and they think

of them when business opportunities arise. Never

underestimate the power and value of a good social

occasion, because there is always value in meeting

other people.

Sara Tye is an award-winning business and

organisational development expert, a top 500

international PR, and serial entrepreneur. She is

the founder and managing director of redheadPR.