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
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.
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