Why Is Networking Important and How To Start Networking

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 3 December 2022

Published 16 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Networking is a great way to further your career and open yourself up to new opportunities. In this article, we discuss why networking is important, explore ways it can help you advance your career and offer easy tips to start.

Related: A Complete Guide on How to Build a Network (Plus Benefits)

Why is networking important?

The relationships we form with others have a strong influence on our mental and emotional well-being. The practice of networking, even in the professional sphere, helps create and sustain meaningful relationships. It can also be used as a way to broaden one's professional circle and gain access to information, opportunities and connections in other fields.

Here are some benefits of networking:

It promotes personal growth

Networking is an active process and involves putting oneself in social situations and interacting with strangers, which may not come easily to some. However, the mere act of constantly approaching others and connecting with them helps develop one's self-confidence and emotional intelligence, as well as soft skills like active listening and communication.

It broadens perspective

Opening oneself up to people from all walks of life is also beneficial for broadening one's perspective. By interacting with others from different companies, industries and of different lifestyles, you learn a lot more about the world around you.

Related: A Comprehensive Guide to Self-Improvement (With Tips)

It boosts your exposure

Networking exposes your product/service and your skills to the rest of the world, which may help generate new leads or bring about new opportunities.

It promotes collaboration

Networking helps one build professional and personal connections, which can lead to more opportunities for collaborative effort in the future.

How to start networking

If you're new to networking, here are some easy tips to get started:

1. Choose a networking space

There are many ways to network with other professionals. If you're an extrovert who enjoys being around large groups of people you may choose to attend big networking events like conferences, trade shows, charity fundraisers or other industry-specific networking gatherings. Otherwise, small group workshops, webinars or virtual groups are also available to those who prefer a smaller, more intimate setting.

Related: What Is a Networking Event? (With Types and Importance)

2. Figure out how you can contribute

Remember that every professional connection should be mutually beneficial to all parties involved. Though you may have your own agenda for networking, you have to be ready to help others out as well.

3. Stay proactive and consistent in your networking efforts

Networking is not a one-time effort but a consistent part of your professional life, and something you should constantly make time and effort for.

4. Keep track of your network and stay connected

Meeting new people and making connections are just the first steps. Once that is done, you still have to maintain the professional relationships you have by following up and checking in on your contacts on a regular (even if infrequent) basis.

Read more: Why Is Networking for Business Important? (With Tips)

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