“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”

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I’m sure you have heard that popular phrase before. Networking can be scary but knowing and associating with the right people can be more important than what you know or what your career is.

Networking events provide a laid back atmosphere to interact with people in your industry, and help your career grow with potential opportunities. It also reminds you of the importance of people skills for business growth and that face-to-face interaction creating a lasting impression.

Check out our top 5 reasons on why networking is essential:

1. Confidence

By regularly networking, and pushing yourself to talk to people you don’t know, it will help increase your confidence. Personal and professional growth is dependent on talking to people and making connections. Focus on yourself in a positive and valuable attitude- your skills, experiences and connections and you will act with the confidence you need to succeed!

2. Friendships

Developing and maintaining a strong network of connections will help you along your career path and will allow you to assist others on their career path. Every person you meet has the ability to connect you to their network, allowing your professional network to grow.

A strong professional network can introduce you to potential employers, clients and mentors and the growth of opportunities will increase. If you are on the market looking for a new job, spread the word and stay in contact with those in your network on a regular basis.

3. Opportunities

Networking is an effective way of exploring careers and learning about job opportunities. There is a huge chance that someone in your network is able to introduce you to people who could be beneficial to you just starting in your industry. You don’t know when or how opportunities will arise but it’s important to be ready to size the opportunity when they come.

4. Skill development

Networking is an important skill that can easily be learned and refined throughout your career. You need to develop many soft skills – listening, problem solving, confidence, negotiating, engagement, and so on. Networking teaches you how to approach and communicate with others, how to sell yourself in a quick elevator pitch and how to understand your own strengths and weaknesses.

5. Shared Knowledge

Networking is great for sharing ideas and knowledge. The people in your network will come from a wide variety of backgrounds offering a broad range of perspectives and wisdom. Asking for feedback or discussing your point of view will help you expand your knowledge and allow you to see things from another perspective.

After networking events, make sure to stay connected with those that you meet- take a look at the business cards you received and email those you met while it’s still fresh in your mind.

Make your network your net-worth!