One of the most frequently repeated pieces of career advice that you will hear: network consistently. Career networking is a vital tool that you must not never forget. Effective networking requires time, energy, and even money, so you may at some point find yourself asking if it's all really worth it. The answer, however, is a resounding yes. Here's why:
• Access opportunities.
This is probably the most widely touted benefit of networking, and for good reason. The traditional model of working for a single company your entire career no longer applies to most people. In fact, many people actively seek out new and interesting opportunities in diverse industries and locations. This is precisely why it is so important to make lots of professional contacts.
You never know who may be in a position to hire or promote you in the future, and forming strong relationships with people in your industry is almost certain to work to your advantage sooner or later. Even if your contacts never directly hire or promote you, you can still benefit from recommendations and a strong reputation. Last but not least, if you decide someday to go into business for yourself, having a diverse list of professional contacts in various industries will be crucial as you go about finding employees, investors, and customers.
It is worth pointing out that many networking opportunities and job offers can occur in the online world. Owning a LinkedIn account should go without saying -- and for those looking to learn more about online networking, this Wall Street Journal article is a good place to start. Last but not least, you may wish to check out online jobs boards in your industry (shameless plug for our own hospitality jobs board here at WeHoteliers!)
• Receive advice and assistance.
Apart from directly influencing the job positions you can access, your professional contacts can also help guide and assist you throughout your career. Perhaps someday you will want professional advice from someone who had been in your position. Perhaps you will consider changing industries, and you will be happy to know people in your new target field. Or maybe someday you will need help getting a social media campaign off the ground, or collecting signatures, or finding a new employee for your startup. When you find yourself in one of these situations, you will be thankful that you built a solid network of professional relationships.
• Offer advice and assistance.
Even though it doesn't necessarily benefit you as directly as the first two points, most people still enjoy the chance to share their professional wisdom and help others. (In fact, The Balance lists a helpful, friendly attitude as an important trait shared by most successful hospitality employees.) Networking can help you get more fulfillment out of your job because it will give you an altruistic outlet for all the knowledge you accumulate through your experience.
• Build relationships.
Speaking of fulfillment, networking is also a good idea because it allows you to build relationships that are about more than just Dollars, Pounds, and Euros. The odds are good that you have a lot in common with people in your industry, and networking is a great way of building long lasting friendships.
Looking for opportunities to further your career in the hospitality industry? Visit www.WeHoteliers.com for a wealth of unique resources including our blog, our job board, and much more!
WeHoteliers is one of a kind Hospitality Career Portal of the GCC region. We help connecting prospective and experienced talents with the top employers of the industry.