Why should you network? That’s a question many entrepreneurs ask. The better question is: why shouldn’t you network? While hard work is important to career advancement, networking is just as important. That especially holds true for entrepreneurs.
For anyone trying to advance in their career or start their own business, getting to know the right people can be the difference between success and failure. Sometimes, it’s not about what you know, but who the know. The larger your network is, the more opportunities you can come across. No matter what you’ve already achieved, networking never stops. Here’s why:
Your business is constantly evolving and so should your network.
No matter what your job or career is, the industry that you work in is always evolving, growing, and changing. That means the people you knew yesterday are not necessarily the people you need to know today. You want to make sure you are mingling with the top influencers and ‘movers and shakers’ in your field, which means you have to continuously network to keep yourself up to speed and in the mix.
You never know who you might meet.
You should always put yourself out there and network because you never know who you might meet. Surprisingly, you might meet the person who can take your career to the next level and inspire you to do greater things when you least expect it. Or you might meet the person who shapes your career path down the road. It’s difficult to predict where you will be 5 or 10 years down the road so it’s important to start building relationships today. Network with anyone that you can, even with people whose work doesn’t directly correlate to your field. Opportunities can be found in many different places, it’s up to you to find them.
You might just learn something new.
Yes, part of the reason why we network is to get to know the right people so that we can get our foot in the door. But another, more important, reason why we should network is to learn something new. Especially for people who are just starting out, you don’t know everything. The best way to learn how to do something is to learn from first hand experience. Networking allows you to meet all kind of professionals and learn about business from their perspective. Whether or not you choose to go down the same path is up to you but you’ll be a lot more wiser just by having a conversation with someone new.