It doesn’t matter if you’ve been at your new job for only one week… or if you’ve been comfortable in your current role for years (and have no interest in leaving), but why? What’s the big deal?
6 key reasons why "now" is the best time to start networking
The best time to network is now: before you need it. You might not even be looking for a job and you’re still told to do it. Why? Strong networks that get results (such as a job offer) don’t happen overnight. It takes time to create relationships and to have you connected with the right people.
Anyone you meet today can turn into a great asset for the long-term. You never know who can help you in the future... And by making sure you can stay in touch in the future, you’re preparing yourself for success. People change jobs, people move to other positions and you never know when a classmate becomes a recruiter. It’s always handy to know recruiters during a job search, isn’t it?
It’s the best time to find a mentor when you’re still at the beginning of your career. When you’re starting out, this is when you might have more questions and could use that extra guidance. Even if you feel that right now you’re not requiring any help, you might need someone in the future. It will help knowing the people who are knowledgeable and have a strong background.
3. Career opportunities
Your career begins the moment you decide the path you want to go after. That’s the start. Once your career starts, it’s a matter of connecting with the right people that will advance your career. You might need a job at an unexpected moment. Life happens and by having a strong network, it allows you to be flexible and always have B or even C options. With a strong network, you’ll have options A to Z…
4. Support and information
The right connections will help you advance your career with support and information. Whether this is about learning skills or career opportunities. Friends and family are fantastic motivators and important to your network. But to really advance your career, you need people in the industry that can provide you with specific career advice.
5. Professional growth
Your network is also there to help you with your professional growth. They’re part of your industry and allow you to keep an open eye and not shut and focused on only one employer. They can help you find the best training solutions and other resources. Even by suggesting interesting articles or videos that can help you grow. Do you want to just get any job and pass the days or do you prefer to grow professionally and always be on the lookout for better opportunities?
Creating your network is "almost" like building your reputation. Your network represents your reputation through word of mouth, recommendations, and so on. People in your network will recommend you if you have a positive reputation. And people will doubt hiring you if the reputation is weak.
A recommendation letter I received at the age of 19 as a trainee, just yesterday landed me a new corporate client. Not bad. That’s a networking that I started at the very start of my career.
Author: Lynn Bruines, AEHL 2008 & founder at The Prospi: Career Guidance To Help Hospitality Professionals Land Their Dream Careers.