5 Reasons to Network

Networking. A skill we all can use. 
A dreaded word for many.

But what exactly is networking?

Networking is exactly what it says it is; casting a net with the aim of getting work. If you’re successful, your net is working. Networking. Well, that’s a basic way to put it. Sure the effort behind the event is much more than that cleverly lame explanation, but that doesn’t make the explanation any less correct. 

Why is it important?

The value of networking goes far beyond the acquisition of new business. It can have a profound impact on your personal and professional development. Here are our top 5 Reasons to Network:

1. You never know who you are going to meet

This is not solely about finding your next client or customer. It can be your next mentor or your next co-worker or your next like-minded friend. Though the new virtual way of working provides a great deal of flexibility it also limits organic opportunities to meet other people. Our world becomes smaller not just because we are working from home more, but because we are interacting with less people throughout the course of the day. If you want to expand you need to create more space and getting out in the world will help you do just that. 

2. You never know what you are going to learn

Similarly to the above, living behind a screen might provide ample opportunities to read, watch and research but the things you are exposed to are more likely to be based on things you are already interested in. Or a tech company’s algorithm laying out what they think you might be interested in. Therefore, it is a myopic perspective. New experiences provide the opportunity for new perspectives. And with a new perspective comes new information, ideas and moments for growth. Both personally and professionally. 

3. It can push you outside your comfort zone

The Surrey Ladies Network loves living outside the comfort zone. Whether you have an apprehension for new social situations or just hate having to talk about yourself and your business, networking events are a safe space to develop those skills. They are where you can plant the seed and push your way up to the next level. To grow we must develop and to develop we must grow. This cannot be done staying in the same comfortable place you have always been. Otherwise we are in a state of homeostasis. Steady, yes. Progressive, no. 

4. Your biggest advocate should be You

Who knows your dreams better than you? Who knows your ideas, your passions, your processes, your strengths, your goals better than you? Who knows what you are capable of better than you? No one. This is why you have to be your biggest advocate. Others can help you get your message out there but if you don’t believe in what you are capable of and proudly share it, proudly express it no one will connect with it. Business comes down to relationships and relationships come down to connections. Not necessarily deep, soul touching connections. It can be something as simple as a prospective client finding you charming and fun. Clever and passionate, admirable. That they feel confident in your ability to deliver on your promised services. You are the x factor in any growing business so get up on that roof top and start shouting.

5. Showing up is half the battle

The best connections are made in person and remember, business is about relationships and relationships are about connections. If the end game goal of networking is to land new business, just being in the room makes you more likely to succeed. Putting aside any expectations you have on the timeline of that new business after you attend a networking event, continuing to show up waters that seed you’ve planted. You can develop your networking skills through practice but you have to show up to get that practice in. 

No one said this was going to be easy.

But it can be transformative. So push yourself outside of your comfort zone, show up, meet new people, learn new things and advocate for yourself. The sky is the limit for your little seed if you do just that. 

“Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.”

— Henry David Thoreau

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