Undoubtedly, business networking is an essential component for job seekers. It is a process of reaching out to professionals in your industry. You will not know them personally but only to make job referrals and connect in the professional sector.
Ever thought what are the three most important words of advice that job seeker are mostly given? According to sources, the three most significant pieces of advice given to job seekers are network, network, and network, don’t you think so?
We can easily see the concerns on job seekers’ faces. Not everyone is comfortable marketing themselves directly to potential employers. Do we know that the question circulating in your mind might be that is networking worth the effort? And how much time is needed to make it work? For some job seekers, it is worth it, and many of them find jobs quickly too. But for others, it becomes so stressful as it provokes anxiety for a job, which causes avoidance and frustration.
What do you mean by Business Networking?
To be clear, Business networking shouldn’t be anything new to most people. It’s just that the internet offers you knew networking tools. Despite this, people have been networking for a long time now as they communicate with one another. However, business networking generally refers to building and cultivating relationships with people who have the same interest in ways that can benefit all parties somehow.
Many years ago, when people started this and were told, “It’s not what you know that counts; it’s whom you know.” That was a dip in the importance of business networking. Whenever you or any other person gathers for Chamber of Commerce socials, join a professional association, go to conventions or ask a friend for recommendations or introductions, so that you all are somehow networking.
Nowadays, professionals use traditional forms, but they also have other choices for business networking. They can join groups, attend network events, or even network in online forums. The second thing to get in your mind about 21st-century business networking is that it’s as sweet as you make it. Whether it’s chattering over wine or keeping in contact with others on the website, networking can undoubtedly be a wastage of time if not done correctly.
Sending business cards to everyone, or sending lots of emails to everyone, telling everyone about yourselves in any event, or adding up hundreds of friends on Facebook may not accomplish much. However, many diverse strategies adopted by various successful people in this context can also not be denied. After all, we can say that it all depends on what suits your interests best.
Why is Business Networking so Overrated?
It’s simple, business networking is a complicated process, which makes it so overrated. Managing such an extensive social network and hiring productive employees can be expensive. In addition to this, business networking can also prove to be very time-consuming for some people. Furthermore, many networking websites also possess the dangers of viruses, firewalls, and hacking. However, If you go and make valuable connections with people who like and trust you, it may not be overrated for you.
- Business Networking Groups
Before starting it, you may have to keep in your mind that everyone has a network. You can also join different groups to increase your network. You might have relationships with people around you who can help you with your business goals, and in return, you might also help them with their goals. So, your neighbors and relatives are also in your network, even the people you meet in the gym or while playing on the ground, or just anywhere you get to know people one on one. Sounds impressive.
On the other hand, some groups may not be listed as a business network group. Still, they can help you to build good relations with other people. Local, regional and professional, and trade organization offers for specific industries provide great opportunities, settlements, and workshops through an email list and online forums. These associations will probably hunt for you, and it’s pretty easy to find these sites online. Groups sometimes coil up when several colleagues in the same field find themselves out of work.
Many groups are created only for business networking. There might be groups for professional women, people in marketing, young professionals, aspiring entrepreneurs, or groups with other common interests in your area. Some syndicate social gatherings with business networking may also surprise you. So, it would be better for you to regularly attend networking events where people mingle, meet, and share their contact information.
There are many groups, and different groups work well for other people; they may work for you at numerous different stages in your career as your needs and goals change.
Meeting people face to face can prove to be vital for your progress. Additionally, you can also enlarge your business network through business and social networking. Sounds interesting, right? Well, keep reading to find out how.
Unfortunately due to my nature of work, well you know being an entrepreneur and all its hard to come across such organizations. Some of them are quite big names like AMCHAM, AHK Azerbaijan, Caspian oil and gas & our recent finding Marsol which has yet to prove itself. First three are perfectly fine if you are a jobseeker and want to learn some insights about the particular events offerings (depending on guest speakers and agenda). However to me they are all very scattered and not niche enough. However I have heard good things about AHK, because 2 of my colleagues Anar & Arif are regularly attending their events. But the term scatteredness applies to AMCHAM the most. Nonetheless I have to admit that it is by far the most influential community in our country.
In my opinion networking events & meetups should not have more than 50 people & should have a lot of focus on a particular approach or niche. I have attended quite a few meetups in USA & all of them fit those categories. Nonetheless in Baku one organization proved its worth to me – It was MBA Club Azerbaijan. However I have to mentioned I do not have an MBA, but I was invited to 2-3 events held by the organization more than 5 years ago. There I met very impressive, highly accomplished, nice people & friends – with whom I am still in close contact.
The situation should be much easier for people in their early 20s and at the start of their careers – there are so many opportunities for them these days, so many offerings. All they have to do is instead of following insta models on Instagram they should follow organisations, technology centers, coworking spaces like Lotfizadeh & Innoland and etc.
- Social Networking
Nowadays, many online social networking sites have taken business networking to the next level. People frequently find that using social networking sites makes it look easy to connect with business partners. These sites not only make it simple to connect with people you’ve pathway of but can also provide an ordinary way to increase your circle of contacts by establishing relationships with friends of friends.
Many people make good use of these popular social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Various other sites like LinkedIn offer social networks besieged more to business connections. One of the quickest and simple ways is to use blogs written by yourself or others for networking. Which yours truly does, however this factor is among the secondary tier of my reasonings for blogging.
However, the best business networking skills shouldn’t start and end with online social networking only. Those who study these things often say that social networking sites boost but don’t swap face-to-face networking. No doubt, progressive development is significant; as such, networking relationships can leave a positive impact on your overall mood.
Tips for Successful Business Networking
As discussed earlier, business networking is often overestimated by most people. However, for better or worse, you must know that career advancements and significant developments in marketing can only be achieved by expanding your professional network. You would be surprised to know how many doors it can open for you. You always learn new lessons from the people you interact with, thus providing you with pleasurable experiences and extensive expertise. Let’s have a sneak peek at a few tips which may help you improve your overall networking skills.
- Build Your Professional Network
The best way to enhance your networking skills is by simply going outside and meeting new people. Socialization has been further simplified as you can meet new people by merely attending conferences, events, parties, workshops, and different alumni associations. You can also directly reach out to people or ask for introductions using the same tools I have mentioned before.
In addition to this, you’re always open to surfing on the internet, Amazon, and libraries for resources on business networking specifically. You should seek all sorts of advice but follow only what suits your techniques best and build your strategies. It is not a one size fits all approach.
- Be Visible and Helpful
It will help if you try to stay as visible as possible because people should always be aware of what you’re up to. It would be best if you try to keep in touch with people and maintain consistency and regularity. For this, various sources of communication, including emails, blogs, and specific other social networks, are available. In my case I try to write 1-2 articles every month, tweet 2-4 times a week & have daily linkedin posts & occasional Instagram activity – this one varies & strictly depends on my mood.
In addition to this, you can make your network even more substantial by helping people. Many of such people may also prove to be helpful to you in the future, and some might even be more motivated to return the favor. So, you can achieve mutual benefits by sharing thoughts, expertise, accomplishments, and other work.
- Know Your Worth
Indeed, it is rightly quoted, “Become first and foremost a person of value, and the network will be available whenever you need it.” (Naval).
You should always be well aware of your self-worth. If you’re a person of noble values & high integrity people will love to interact and form a network with you, no matter wherever you are so, if you took time to create an upraised pitch to convey what you do. This is very important as you can’t expect to share information at networking events if you don’t recognize your value and skills and offer a product or service.
Suppose you tried to maintain a positive attitude and avoid speaking negatively about anyone or anything. To express your true worth, you need to build a good reputation by showing yourself as talented, helpful, and valuable. You should possess unique abilities so that people prefer you over your competition and stay motivated to meet and keep in touch with you.
- Have Long-Term Intentions
Valuable connections and long-term intentions can play a significant role in your overall progress. Networking isn’t just about business cards and communication, but it holds its actual value when long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships are assured.
Now, it may require time, so it would be best if you learn to be patient. It would be best to remain intentional and stay in touch with people or the community, whether online or offline. Get yourself involved in interesting conversations and valuable content.
In summary, we can say that if you want to do networking to find jobs or work or to make connections with others to improve your business and work, you must collect information that will be of interest in that exact context. Business networking may be overrated, but you can surely improve your networking skills using the aforementioned tips. So, in light of the context discussed above, its significance cannot be denied whether or not networking is overestimated. Don’t you agree? Yes, you should agree with this because every story has its two sides. I hope that the dark cloud on networking that I tried to clear and sunshine is cleared to you.
As a final note I would like to add that If you are going to be full of shit, people will see right through you. I try to be as open and transparent as possible in portraying my intentions during building relationships. Yes, I did state that networking is overrated, however that does not mean that you should just go like “ah fuck it, I am not going to do anything”. It strictly means that even if you do everything I have stated above perfectly & at the bottom line you are seen as a person who lacks morals, is deceptive or as someone who does not have characteristics of a person with integrity – then nothing that you do in terms of networking matters.