The Power of Networking

  • by back2
  • June 21, 2019
  • Networking
  • Comments: ( 0 )

How do professionals go about networking besides handing out their business cards? Most know networking can benefit both their personal lives and professional lives, but not everyone understands how to do it with tact.

While networking can work for individuals in a multitude of ways, a self serving perspective of only networking when in need is why many don’t do it to begin with.

In contrast, a valuable and affective network does the opposite. As stated in the Forbes article, The Networking Advice No One Tells You, “A strong network is built with mutually beneficial relationships; where both parties benefit. In the process of getting to know someone, you understand how you can add value and help them, and they are then willing to help you.”

Networking shouldn’t be viewed as a self seeking pastime, but instead a desire to connect with like-minded professionals, create camaraderie, and even a community of professional interests and support. The Harvard Business Review states:

“A mountain of research shows that professional networks lead to more job and business opportunities, broader and deeper knowledge, improved capacity to innovate, faster advancement, and greater status and authority. Building and nurturing professional relationships also improves the quality of work and increases job satisfaction.”

So, how can you successfully network without feeling phony or egocentric?

  1. Scheduling time to Network. This could be following up on that email you received a few weeks back, or taking up that offer on a cup of coffee. It could also mean following blogs or podcasts and reaching out to the host or guest if there is a likemindedness in your professional careers and interests.
  2. When attending conferences or work trips, be strategic in how you spend your time. Don’t rely on a random encounter, but plan out who you could call in that city to meet for dinner, who you should sit with during the conference, and always let others in your network know that you’ll be coming to their town.
  3. Follow through on pre-established relationships. How many business cards have you taken but never used? Taking the first step to reach out to a potential professional ally could open your door to a slew of new networking opportunities. Viewing networking as a community of relationships instead of individuals asking “what’s in it for me?” is where the true effectiveness of a professional network takes place.
  4. Have an open and intentional mindset. When attending obligatory after hour office functions, instead of dreading the time spent away from home, consider who will be there that could potentially become a professional ally that isn’t one already. Do so with integrity, and with the desire to build a mutual professional relationship.
  5. Find comfortable platforms for communication, but don’t be afraid to change it up. Do you prefer Linkedin and social media to after hour dinner get togethers? While building relationships online can be effective, intentional in person networking provides the opportunity for more relational opportunities. A simple coffee break at Starbucks to discuss a professional topic is an even simpler way to begin.

In the end, the focus of networking isn’t about boosting ourselves up or simply getting a new job. Maybe a few years down the line, a good friend that was made from intentional networking has the perfect opportunity, but there is much more to it than that.

Building a community of people with similar backgrounds, interests, or goals is where innovation has the opportunity to take off, and potentially change the trajectory of our professional lives.

Ridgeback Business Solutions helps organizations do things they cannot normally do in the fields of finding great talent, project management, focused marketing, and consulting business leaders on how to improve the efficiency and profitability of their business.

To learn more about how Ridgeback can help you, Please contact us at:

Phone: (646) 883-2927

Email: [email protected]