A few nights ago I attended a Networking event hosted by a new organization called Schmoozd. When I arrived there I met the CEO of a startup and he asked me what I was looking to gain from the event after I told him that I had a job. It made me start to think about the fact that so many people only network when they are looking for a job. This is a huge mistake that should be avoided at all costs.
5 Reasons you need to Keep Networking
Referrals: Given the current economic conditions, hiring by referral is bigger today than it’s ever been in the past. Even if you do have a job that is going great, you can’t always predict the future. If the rug gets pulled out from under you unexpectedly, it’s good to set yourself up for a soft landing. Continual networking will enable you build a group of contacts that could be potential referrals for your next role and help you speed up the process of finding your next gig.
Potential Business Partners: If you are an entrepreneur or not, networking well lead to a number of potential business partners. For example, let’s say you are a salesperson and you meet somebody who needs the exact product you are selling. The relationship you establish at a networking event could make the difference in who that new customer makes his or her purchase from. If your an entrepreneur looking for opportunities to collaborate, a contact you meet at a networking could open that door for you.
Income: In his book, The Luck Factor, Brian Tracy said that he could actually measure his income in proportion to the number of people he knew. Every time his network of contacts doubled his income doubled. The reality is that you are going to need the help of other people no matter what your long term goal is. The more contacts you have in your network, the more resources you have available to you when it comes to reaching your goals.
Lend a Helping Hand: If there’s one thing you should do if you are networking and already have a job, it’s to lend a helping hand. Let’s say you meet somebody who is looking for a job in a a particular field. After you meet that person you might meet another who is looking to hire somebody that matches the background of the first person. By providing somebody with that referral you are going to form a very strong lasting relationship. There is a law of reciprocation that makes people feel compelled to return such favors. In that moment when you need a helping hand, it’s highly likely that your gesture will not be forgotten and that person you did a favor for will do everything they can to help you.
Make new friends: One of the other things I enjoy about many of these networking events is the opportunity to make new friends. Once you are on a friendship level with somebody, the likelihood that they will want to help you out in your business efforts will increase dramatically. As adults we often get too caught up in sticking to what we know. But, if we can keep growing our social circles, this will lead to even more opportunities for person and business success.
Just because you have found a job, it’s not time to stop networking. In fact, if anything, it’s time to take it the next level. You now have another valuable asset that you can utilize to give tremendous value to the network you are building.
Srinivas Rao is a personal development blogger at The Skool of Life where he writes about self help, spirituality and personal development through his love for the sport of surfing. He’s a recent graduate of the Pepperdine MBA program and has a bachelors degree in economics from UC-Berkeley. He is currently working as a social media strategist for online travel site Cheapair.com