Career development as an Administrator: Part 4 Networking
Many people baulk or cringe at the idea of networking, yet it is one of the most successful and utilised platforms for ‘doing business’ throughout the globe – and it’s not always in the form that you expect it to be. You will likely see early in your career that those on their way up are the ones who have built a strong network of contacts around them since they started – with the advice of many leaders being to ‘start as early as you can’!
Networking doesn’t always mean a pre-meditated event, where you collect a name badge at the registration table, grab a drink and prepare to mingle in a room of strangers. With the popularity of LinkedIn as well as blogs, forums and online tools such as Google Hangouts, networking has on taken a completely different form. In fact, in many larger organisations, internal vacancies and promotions are filled by a recommendation or through an ‘invitation to apply’ call – which come from being on the right radars.
Networking with contacts in other areas of the business, as well as externally, can lead to opportunities for career advancement – and something that hasn’t changed over many years is that people buy in to people. Work on your relational and networking skills so that when opportunities arise to make contact with these people, you leave a positive lasting impression that, through an ongoing relationship, could lead to a number of opportunities. Even brief encounters can lead to valuable working relationships in the future. See every day as a networking opportunity, putting yourself out there and embracing every chance to speak to people you don’t know – both in the workplace and outside of it. Employers highly rate good networkers, aware that they are people who are looking after their own career development and investing in their future.
Remember, networking takes time, so don’t expect to build a fantastic network of contacts overnight. The skills required to network effectively take time to develop, but the opportunities will definitely outweigh the effort you need to put in.