Is Networking Still Relevant?
In a society fueled by introverted self-made tech billionaires, job networking apps such as LinkedIn, and overnight success stories of social media influencers, are networking events such as conferences and speaking panels necessary for a successful career? Absolutely! Not only are they essential, but it is also borderline detrimental to your career if you don't network. Patty McCord, former CTO at Netflix and author of "Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility" told me that:
"A successful career is not about who you know or what you know; it is about who knows what you know."
Read that last part again, "It's about who knows what you know" The internet allows you to leave a digital footprint of your accomplishments and upcoming projects, but that’s all it is... a digital footprint. In-person events add working personality to the pictures and texts found online. Here are the top three reasons that Networking is still relevant
I cannot stress enough the importance of forming authentic relationships with leaders in your industry. Attending conferences and speaking panels gives you the opportunity to meet successful industry business leaders and build those interpersonal relationships that can catapult your career. It gives you the chance to market yourself and externalize all those fantastic skills we sometimes tend to keep to ourselves. Nobody knows you better than you know yourself, therefore, you are your best advocate. So show up to the event with your head held up high, a big smile on your face and shine brightly.
Regardless of where you are in your career, whether you are just starting out or part of the executive team, there will always be someone out there that can teach you a thing or two. Finding the right mentor is crucial to your career metamorphosis. You want first to ensure that you have an authentic relationship with your mentors. Secondly, ask yourself if you could both learn from each other. Sure, your company or school may offer a mentorship program, but networking events that are outside of your comfort zone provide the best places to find mentors because no one ever grows from their comfort zone. Your energy attracts the same power, so the more fearless you are with your approach, the more fearless energy you are going to draw.
3- Career Changes
Let’s face it, the quote “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life” is great, but people often find themselves wondering what it is that they genuinely love to do. Finding your passion is rarely a straight and narrow road, quite the contrary. If you’ve found your passion early on in your career, you are one of the lucky few. Consistently going to networking events outside of your industry and #LadyBragging your skills gives you the opportunity to meet leaders from various sectors. Diversifying your network comes in handy when you decide to make a career industry change.
While yes, a digital footprint is necessary for 2018, don’t underestimate the value of a firm handshake, executive presence, and a warm smile.