I hate the phrase “it’s not what you know, but who you know” but it can’t be denied that, to an extent, this is true. We all hope that nobody who is under-qualified for a position will receive it simply due to their connections and we hope that our integrity will stop us from recommending someone just because they’re a good friend of ours.
However, if you have the credentials and experience to excel in whatever your trying to accomplish it is TREMENDOUSLY helpful to have a connection within the field to help you out and to push you to the next level. This is a very competitive world we live in and the competition for jobs can be a bit intimidating so it’s important to build lasting connections with people that you can network with.
So what exactly is business networking? According to the site I just linked, it is an effective low-cost marketing method for developing sales opportunities and contacts, based on referrals and introductions, or by other contact methods such as phone, email, and increasingly social and business networking websites.
All of us are building a business network all the time, even if we aren’t aware of it. Every time you make a connection at a social gathering or meet someone via a mutual friend you are creating a relationship that you may be able to use in the future.
My very first meaningful job was an internship in the Office of Communications and Marketing at my university, an opportunity that I never would’ve been aware of had it not been for a friend of mine (also a Comm major) who worked in the office and told me about the open position, I would never have made this friend if I hadn’t become a member of my sorority, I wouldn’t have become a member of my sorority if I hadn’t heard about the organization from someone I met my Freshman year of college.
You never know what opportunities will arise, so always be on the lookout for ways to make connections and build lasting relationships!