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Networking is not at the top of everyone’s to-do list. It can be time-consuming, downright awkward, and – depending on your personality – incredibly exhausting.

But, strong networking is crucial in helping you succeed in your career. When it’s done well, networking will not only help you land a job faster, but it will give you a competitive edge throughout every stage of your career. Networking is not just about making friends, but it is about establishing and nurturing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with the people you meet.

One ought to know networking is not just bound to after-hours networking events, it can be anywhere; a conference, club meetings, alumni programmes, and many more. One could also build connections from enrolling in classes for the professionals.

But, one can’t just network with everyone. Who you network with and their relevance to your career matters extensively. Here are just some of the benefits we can enjoy from good networking:

Knowledge exchange
Networking is all about forming trust and helping one another toward some sort of goals. It is about sharing, not about creating unnecessary competition. Regularly engaging with your contacts and finding opportunities to assist them helps to strengthen the connection.

Seek for newer opportunities
Expanding your contacts can open doors to new opportunities for business, career advancement, and personal growth. Having a dynamic networking life helps to keep you alert with opportunities and increases your likelihood of receiving introductions to potentially relevant people or perhaps, a good referral.

Extra resource
Networking could be THE access you need in order to get the updated information on trends relevant to you. Think of it as a way other people could help you with your assignment or end goals. Exchanging information is a key benefit of networking because it allows you to gain new insights or ideas that you may not have thought of.

Self-confidence The self-confidence that you’ll build through networking can help put you on a good positive drive whenever you interact with like minds in your field. Aside from that, this also gives you an opportunity to excel well during interview sessions for a job opportunity. So the more effectively you network, the more self-confidence you build over time.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there, make connections, and grow your professional circle! The day will come when you will be glad you did.