The dictionary defines networking (verb) as an interaction with other people to exchange information and develop contacts, especially to further one's career. Although correct, the dictionary version fails to mention that networking is one of the most valuable skills a person can cultivate. It forms the backbone of any career and/or business, and is something you can always be working on and striving to improve. And, with the right mindset, networking can be an enjoyable and enriching experience that not only creates huge benefits in work, but in life as well.
As children we were warned to be careful of whom we chose to spend time with - that others would judge us in accordance to our friends, in addition to the influence our friends would have upon us. From the playground to the boardroom, not much has changed. Being around a positive network can be motivating and helpful when difficult situations arise. If the goal is about moving onward and upward, then it’s imperative to be around those who help us navigate towards success.
Whether it’s generating more business or landing a job, the more people who are in your corner - people who believe in you, and what you do - the better! Being visible and getting noticed is a benefit of networking that’s essential to business and career building. Regularly attending professional and social events will help to get your face and name known. You can then help to build your reputation as knowledgeable, reliable, and supportive by offering useful information or tips to people who need it.
Gain (and Give) New Insight
Your network can be an excellent source of new perspectives and ideas to help you problem solve in your business or career. Exchanging information on challenges, experiences, and goals is a key benefit of networking because it allows you to gain new insights that you may not have otherwise thought of. Similarly, offering helpful ideas to contacts is an excellent way to build your reputation as an innovative thinker.
Networking is about building long-term relationships and developing a solid, reliable reputation over time. If you network enough, your odds of being in the right place at the right time with the right people increases exponentially. Just remember, a huge part of succeeding is simply showing up.
Located in southern Napa County, California, American Canyon is home to a diverse community populated by unique businesses. We believe that a healthy business community results in a thriving community. It is our mission to be a catalyst for business growth and development. Learn more about networking within the community - and our monthly mixers - by visiting the American Canyon Chamber of Commerce website, or by calling 707.552.3650.