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The Benefits of Networking

Recently I have been able to attend more networking events. Building a professional network can significantly improve your career prospects, so I thought it might be a good time to share these eight benefits of networking:

  •  Confidence

It is human nature to question whether a new person will like me; it’s natural to feel awkward when meeting someone for the first time, or to struggle a bit trying to break the ice. But the reality is that these apprehensions exist mainly in your mind. The more you meet new people and strike up conversations in social settings, the more your confidence will increase. Over time this confidence will grow, enhancing different areas of your life. You’ll be more confident at work, and feel more comfortable meeting new people.

  • Opportunities

Networking gives us the opportunity to significantly expand your circle of contacts. It can open up opportunities that would not be possible by cold-calling or sending emails to the same people. At networking events you get to meet professionals in a more informal setting (and the occasional formal setting). If you click socially, it can directly lead to business opportunities. Or even better, you might make a new lifelong friend!

  • Knowledge and Insights

For me networking provides a huge learning opportunity. A lot of the news that we read and consume comes from social media or abridged articles on the internet. When you network it gives you the opportunity to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds and industries. Engaging in conversations and sharing ideas can provide valuable insights, industry trends, and knowledge exchange. You can learn from the firsthand experiences of others, gain new perspectives, and stay updated on the latest market developments.

  • Career Advancement 

Building a strong professional network can greatly enhance your career prospects. Networking enables you to establish connections with influential people who can offer guidance, referrals, or even job opportunities. Through networking events, industry conferences, or online platforms, you can meet potential employers, recruiters, and experts in your field.

I should state that it is a mistake in networking to sell yourself before you know if the person you have connected with is interested in what you’re offering – it’s important to ‘read the room;’ otherwise, your well-intentioned approach could come across as annoying. 

  •  Personal Development

Networking isn't just about professional growth – it can also contribute to your personal development. By interacting with a diverse range of individuals, you can improve your communication, interpersonal, and relationship-building skills. Networking often involves stepping out of your comfort zone, which helps build confidence and adaptability.

  • Access to a larger business community

Through networking, you gain access to a wide range of people. Your network can provide information, advice, recommendations, or connections to valuable resources such as funding, suppliers, service providers, or specialised knowledge. Having a diverse network ensures you have a pool of resources readily available when needed.

  • Reputation and Visibility

Networking helps you establish and enhance your professional reputation. By actively participating and contributing to your field or industry, you can gain visibility and recognition. This can lead to increased opportunities, invitations to speak at conferences, or being sought after for collaborations and partnerships. It’s a great way to ‘build your brand.’

  •  Long-Term Relationships

Building meaningful connections through networking often results in long-term relationships. These relationships can extend beyond professional interactions and become friendships or mentorships. Maintaining and nurturing these relationships can lead to ongoing support, guidance, and mutual growth.

I often have to remind myself that networking is a continuous process that requires effort, active participation, and genuine interest in building relationships. The benefits may not be immediate, but they can have a lasting impact on your personal and professional life. Prioritise it, stick with it, and reap the rewards!

If you’re interested to attend professional networking events in Thailand, here are some good resources:

  • The American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (AMCHAM) : Event
  • The British Chamber of Commerce Thailand : Event

Please reach out to me directly if your organisation is interested in co-hosting a networking event with JacksonGrant, or if you’d like more information about professional networking in Thailand: