The (Actual) Secret to Success
Ah. The Million Dollar question. Everyone wants to know the answer.
Is it luck? Smarts? Persistence?
Well, we’re here to tell you what experts believe to be one of the key factors of success.
Here it is. Plain and simple:
It is common knowledge amongst experts that people with the greatest number of professional connections are often the most successful individuals. Networking is more than just exchanging information with professionals in the same industry. The key to successful networking is to nurture a long-term professional relationship which is beneficial for both parties.
Making an investment in relationships will undoubtedly payoff in the future. Building trust is what makes relationships, even in business, rewarding. By taking some time and effort into noticing the details of someone’s life (like getting married or having a baby), a more meaningful relationship will form. Let’s face it: people are more likely to help those who they trust and like. Sending a quick “congratulations” or “how is the family?” can go a long way in developing worthwhile professional connections.
The benefits of networking are not limited to one career path. This is because it is a basic human need to seek trustworthy relationships. Respect and reliability will go a long way in sustaining relationships for any career.
Networking is vital in all levels of career development. Whether you are in the job search, just starting out, or seeking a promotion, professionally connecting with others will open up doors to a vast amount of opportunities. You could find yourself discovering new job leads, advancing your skills, furthering your area of expertise, meeting new mentors, or becoming more visible to senior management.
One of the most important things to remember about networking is this: it’s about give and take. Before asking for help, think about how you can provide value to the other party. You may not have an immediate value to offer, but you should be able to pay back this favor at some point. You should also be making this favor as easy as possible for the other person. If someone has to jump through hoops to help you, they are a lot less likely to do so.
Whether you are a “people person” or not, networking is a vital part of finding success in today’s job market. If you have struggled with networking in the past, check out these tips for conversation starters to make the process a little easier.
There is never a wrong time to start networking. Go ahead…give it a shot. See how networking can change your life.