Networking: It is not just for getting a job any more. Today, networking has a great many uses and purposes. Consider the computer systems term “networking.” It really means the bringing together of several computers in order to share resources. In a way, this is also a way to think about, networking within the realm of people.
Networking is, at its essence, the bringing together of people in groups (either physically or virtually) to talk about and discuss topics of mutual interest.
The people that you meet day in and day out are often the foundation of new relationships that you may potentially come to rely on in the future. When you are talking to others about the challenges of their work, you may have an idea that would help to solve a problem that they are struggling with or vice versa. Very often, a solution grows from the discourse -- just a different point of view from a “stranger” who you never would have met if you have not said “Hello.” So be friendly and flex your extroverted side whether you are at a conference, or riding the bus to work. You never know whom you will meet, or when you will make an important connection for your network.
Networking is a way to reinvigorate yourself in your current position so that you can remain a viable and contributing professional. When someone has been in the same position for a number of years, a feeling that you are stuck in a “rut”, where you have nothing new to contribute and that the field is passing you by often happens. One of the easiest ways to gather fresh ideas and recharge those batteries is by being an active participant on LinkedIn -- both reading the postings of others and reaching out to new people in your field to connect with and learn what excites them in their work. Increasing your numbers of connections will better your chances of seeing new and innovative content on your newsfeed and encourage you to post some ideas and programs that you are currently putting into practice. You will be amazed at the comments that you get in return saying how great your ideas are.
Networking is not the same for everyone. In fact, it should be different for each person. But one thing is consistent: networking can be a powerful tool on your career journey. You should always be ready to connect with others, help solve a problem, re-find your way or reenergize your daily work. By continuing to connect with others, you truly reconnect with yourself.