Networking – is it good for your career?

There’s no simple answer to this one. There are a few factors you need to consider before committing to attending any business event.

When you are deciding on the next step in your job journey networking is a tactic you are going to have to consider so choosing the right event to attend will form part of your plan. Frustratingly, it can be hit or miss, but by engaging with the right people at these events can keep your profile high and potentially open the door for your next career step. You’ll need tenacity, patience, and positivity.

When analysing which events to go to, these are the points to consider. Call it your checklist:

• When does the event take place?
You might be able to attend whilst on company time if your job means liaising and introducing with new people, but don’t irritate your employer if this type of thing isn’t in your remit. Lesson learnt – you’ll need to find events out of work time!

• Who is hosting the event?
You can tell a lot by knowing who is leading the event. Is there a seminar attached to it? When there is a learning session, there’s a good chance more people will be attending.

• Who’s attending?
Sometimes the host publicises job titles and company’s attending to attract more people. If this information is available, scan through it – you’ll be able to make a reasoned judgement based on this information.

• Be open-minded
Don’t head into any networking with suspicion this will be a failure. Might we suggest that if this is your approach, maybe networking isn’t for you? However, if you go along with meeting new people, showing an interest and maybe picking up one or two contacts, then you can be pleasantly surprised.

• Don’t expect too much
It’s not 100% guaranteed that you’ll meet your perfect contact(s) at any of the events, especially your first one, but keep trying and, remember, if you don’t go you’ve got no chance of meeting them.

Networking can be a force for good for your career – give it a try and persist.

You might also find our article outlining preparing for competency questions influential in your ongoing career

Roland Seddon, Managing Director, MRK Associates.

MRK Associates is a recruitment and career advisory company specialising in three distinct areas of professional employment – finance/accountancy jobs, office support/administration jobs and revenue management/yield jobs. Our main geographical focus is in the Northern Home Counties area (Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire) where we provide a personal, knowledgeable and professional service within these markets.

For more information, please telephone 01442 894555 or email: info@mrkassociates.co.uk

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