The Power of Networking for Career and Business Success

By: Samuel Olowolayemo

The term “Networking” is not ambiguous, and the skills it teaches are essential for gaining an edge in today’s highly competitive job market. The fundamental concept of networking is to establish connections, relationships, and partnerships to achieve a particular goal.

Networking involves establishing and nurturing relationships with individuals in your industry or field, such as colleagues, peers, mentors, and potential employers, to build a network of contacts that can provide valuable business and career opportunities, industry insights, advice, and support.

The significance of networking in both career and business cannot be overstated. According to CNBC, an estimated 70% of jobs are not publicly advertised, and research has long demonstrated that approximately 80% of jobs are filled through networking. Instead of making public many job openings, they are rather filled through referrals or word of mouth. Additionally, LinkedIn’s study revealed that 70% of professionals who were hired in 2016 had a connection at their company, while 80% of professionals consider networking crucial to their career success.

Networking has become a vital aspect of familiarizing oneself with others in one’s industry to become a prospective client, partner, or employer. While aimlessly submitting résumés to job boards can also turn out positive, networking offers greater possibilities because of the employer-employee and seller-client trust established. As students, participation in events, joining clubs or associations related to your niche helps you stay up-to-date with trends and information in your area of interest. This allows you to connect with progressive minds and gain valuable insights into your career, business, or profession. Therefore, networking has become a vital aspect of success in both career and business endeavours.

Networking can earn you recommendations and referrals for career and business opportunities which can make your aspirations come through on time. However, this reward is for those who can follow up on their connections. In a LinkedIn research, 38% globally(of a sample) said they found it hard to stay in touch with their network and many attributed the leading cause to lack of time.

Aside from networking, mastering the art of meeting and connecting with people places you ahead of competition in your field and also develops your interpersonal skills like oratory, communication, active-listening, negotiation, and problem-solving skills. These are necessary to improve your verbal and nonverbal communication skills, for active listening to others, for negotiating and persuading others to take a certain action, and for developing certain solving skills.

The media plays a crucial role in networking by providing opportunities to connect with a diverse audience. To network successfully on social platforms, one must be able to effectively promote themselves to their intended audience, be it local or global. Despite the vast potential of social networking, many individuals fail to capitalize on its benefits. According to research, only a small number of individuals are taking advantage of the opportunities available. It is noteworthy that over 35% of those surveyed reported that a casual conversation on LinkedIn Messaging led to a new opportunity.

If you have a dream, and you know there’s possibly no way you can meet your projections by solely striving, all you may require is to connect with people who have been there at your stage, who you can benefit from,and who can benefit from you. And this leads to the next paragraph.

Networking, like other relationships, comes with prices, morals, ethics, time and probably financial commitment required. Networking is not a pest-host relationship, it’s not one where you go into to benefit without offering anything.

To keep your network intact, strive to be a better version of yourself; read and learn, dress well, be disciplined and principled. Look out for your connections, be faithful to your part of the bargain. There’s no limit to what you can achieve.

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