Most successful people will say that networking has played an important role in their success. I would challenge anyone who says that his or her success was completely self-determined. Your professional network is a critical factor in your career success. Actors, athletes, artists and musicians, entrepreneurs, scientists, architects, educators, politicians, lawyers and doctors can all benefit from a solid professional network.
Your professional success is a team effort . . . the question is, “who is on your team?”
Your team, or professional network, includes people within your own organization/company/firm, your industry, related industries, partners, competitors, trade associations, professional associations, alma mater, etc. Developing relationships with people who want to and are able to help you is a worthwhile investment of your time and resources.
This is a long-term investment of your time in building relationships with other people. You must develop your professional network and tend to it over sustained periods of time. You must actively participate in your network and seek opportunities to help others. You must maintain these relationships in good times and bad. LinkedIn is a great tool to help with this, but remember it is only a tool and doesn’t replace the in person time necessary to create meaning professional relationships.
How important is your professional network? Developing your own professional network will lead to more success than anything other single thing you do in your professional career.
- Why College Students Should Join LinkedIn (collegefocus.com)