I get asked a lot about the importance of networking. Should I? Where do I start? Do I really have to? How important is it really? Why? So on and so forth.
Networking is such an integral part of what a recruiter does. On a day-to-day basis networking and building a talent pool is a fundamental function of a recruiter. But this is not exclusive to recruiters. We all know and understand the value of building a network. In a recruiter’s case, networking serves to help build a network of passive and active candidates but that’s not the only reason for doing it. Networking is central to any professional and it doesn’t have to be the arduous chore that many fear. There are many reasons why it is important to network and finding your next role is just one of the reasons why this is time well spent. Building connections with other professionals within your field of expertise and beyond that can be rewarding and can offer:
- A support network of liked-minded and experienced people
- mentor ship (receiving or giving)
- Learning and education
- Building and strengthening your own profile and brand
- Opportunities to develop business
- Expand sector and professional knowledge
- Opportunity to get involved
The list goes on, but as we have all experienced not all networking is equal. What is the best advice that I can give a would-be networker? Mix it up a little. Be selective but cast your net wide at the same time. As a recruiter I have a really broad and enormously interesting network because I am meeting people all the time, but I am not alone in this. My networking activity varies from regular one-on-one breakfast meetings, to hosting a tailor-made networking group (CTC), to memberships of relevant industry bodies and on-line forums to the occasional one-off keynote speaker event, conferences, even my book club!! Select what best works for you with what time you are prepared to invest. The key is to get involved, contribute and connect.
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