Career advancement is all about opportunities, specifically taking advantage of opportunities that already exist and also creating new ones. That’s because the more opportunities you have, the better your odds for growth.
Networking is one way to both take advantage of existing opportunities and also create new opportunities.
The importance of networking lies in this central fact: over half of all successful job searches and career changes are the direct result of networking. Here’s an equally important fact: the best time to network is NOT when you find yourself without a job; it’s when are employed.
In fact, the best time to network is all the time, because you never know when your networking efforts will pay off in the form of a golden opportunity for better employment.
You might be asking, “Okay, which networking opportunities already exist that I don’t know about?” That’s a great question, and we have the answer. Below are eight networking opportunities you might be overlooking:
#1—Friends from high school and/or college
Basically, this pertains to any type of formal educational setting. Those who were friends then can help you in your career now, so stay in touch with as many of them as possible.
#2—Former co-workers and bosses
Just because you don’t work with them anymore doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still maintain contact via email, telephone, social media, or otherwise. They could very well find out about job openings before you do.
#3—Sports and recreational activities
No, you don’t have to be a CrossFit fanatic for this one. You could join a bowling league, a softball team, or a walking or running club. The emphasis is on networking, not necessarily on “getting ripped.”
#4—Those who share the same hobbies as you
The same rule that applies to sports and recreational activities applies to hobbies. If you have a particular hobby or interest, sign up and network with individuals who share your pursuits and passions.
#5—Your church/religious affiliation
Many churches offer support groups or networking opportunities for members, regardless of faith, so be sure to do your research.
#6—The local chamber of commerce
There are more networking opportunities here than one might think, including socials, luncheons, and various committees. All you have to do is inquire.
These include the Rotary, Lions, or any other reputable service organization. While you’re helping others, you can also network. Other examples include the American Red Cross and the Leukemia Society, and there are many, many more.
#8—Schools and school-related organizations and activities
If you have school-age children, there are countless organizations and activities in which you can get involved these days. In fact, chances are good that you’re already involved. All you have to do is network along the way.
Time Staffing Inc.