Networking can be as fun or complicated as the professional makes it. Although it is a valuable tool for career and academic advancement, networking can be overwhelming and time consuming. Professionals need to have the right balance for the best networking experiences. This would involve evaluating each networking event, joining the right groups that can assist with your networking endeavors and attending events regularly in order to build your network. How can professionals increase their networking activities? How can they have a good balance between business and social networking? How can they make the most of all their networking events?
Professionals who are interested in networking for career and academic advancement should encourage their employer or boss to buy into their networking endeavors. Professionals should try and create awareness and understanding about the importance of networking and encourage support from their company.
Support can include association and club membership courtesy of the company as well as time allotted to attending networking and social events on behave of the company. It is a great way to build professionalism and build the brand of the company by representing them at various events and functions. Also, being active in business and social community can strengthen the company image and business culture.
Professionals should also value the networking experience by attending as many beneficial events as possible. They should be strategic in the events and functions which they attend and make it a point to follow up and do business with their colleagues and counterparts. This is a step up from just merely attending an event.
A professional should connect with organizers/hosts of the event and find ways of building relationships and establishing a professional rapport with the group or organization.
Professionals should also encourage their co-workers and colleagues to get involved with networking. Having a group or strong team with like minded goals is a great source of fuel for success. It serves as a stable and strong platform for support and success. There is a subtle form of accountability within group as well as unity which can greatly improve business workplace communication and interactions. Professionals should have monthly meetings to update on networking successes and challenges to improve networking activities and initiatives.