Let’s start by pointing out the obvious. We all, in the grand scheme of things, know that networking is a good thing. It’s a way to broaden your professional horizons and open up to new opportunities.
Expanding your professional circle will not necessarily have an immediate effect on your career. Relationships take time to grow and become ripe. Therefore, spending your time to evolve your professional network is an investment that will yield returns in the long run.
For this very reason, may not necessarily be sitting at the top of your professional priorities. According to research by LinkedIn, 79% of professionals agree that networking is valuable to their career progression. Yet only 48% of them are active networkers, and 38% admit that they don’t have the time to network.
Networking might undoubtedly feel like a chore. Especially, if you have to forcibly do it by attending networking events, corporate mixers, and exchanging business cards that bore the life out of you.
But what if you could network with minimal effort and planning? Have opportunities come your way without trying hard? Well, you can. Just start with small, simple steps:
- Practice makes perfect. Recognize that every time you talk to someone or meet someone, you are effectively networking. Even when you talk to your local supermarket’s cashier. That helps you practice.
- Keep it relevant. Stick around like-minded people that offer you insights, inspiration, solid professional advice and won’t bore you.
- Make networking a habit. Spend 25 minutes per week to comment on LinkedIn posts of interest, email useful contacts you haven’t been in touch with for some time, connect to professionals you find insightful. That’s 5 minutes per day, over 5 working days.
Echoing the renowned career consultant, Brad Waters:
Networking does not have to be more complicated or overwhelming or contrived than the simple small talk you’re already doing. The only difference is, you’ve opened up to seeing the opportunity within.
Networking can help you make a sizable, long-term contribution to your career. To offer you a number of professional possibilities. It can all start, just by committing 5 minutes per day.
Did you know: Covve can automatically remind you to get in touch with selected people in your network. Thereby helping you spend your networking time efficiently. Tap on the + icon on your homepage and “Add relationship” to get started.