Career development is imperative for success in the business world, and networking is one way you can take control of your own career development. It not only helps keep you up to date on trends in your industry, it also allows you to develop and improve your skill set. Networking can help you meet prospective partners, mentors and clients.
Connecting with others is paramount. While professional opportunities come and go, personal connections last as long as you maintain them. That’s why networking is an important aspect of your career development. It allows you to establish long-term, mutually beneficial business relationships.
Earning a graduate-level business degree, such as Emporia State’s online MBA, is a great way to expand your network. Fellow MBA students, professors, and alumni can serve as a beneficial resource for years to come. According to Access MBA, between 50 and 60% of MBA graduates have landed a job through networking. In fact, alumni list professional networking opportunities as one of the top three reasons to pursue an MBA.
Whether you are new to the company and want to become acquainted with the way things operate, or you’re already established and looking to advance your career, networking with co-workers is worth the effort. It allows you to identify potential mentors, professional development opportunities, or even new job opportunities.
Social media is also a great avenue to network. You may want to promote a contact’s business or project and tag them in your post. While self-promotion is important, effective networking involves supporting others as well.
Drawing on your network during a job search is invaluable. A referral from an employee can improve your chances of being hired. If you want to make a job or career change, your professional network may be able to connect you to targeted contacts.
There are many ways to hone your networking skills. The tips below are easy to implement and highly effective:
- Get excited about networking by meeting new and interesting people. Advancing your business career is just a welcome side effect.
- Talk about topics other than work.
- Focus on what you can offer, rather than what you want.
- Jot down information when you meet someone and use your notes for follow-up conversations.
Earning your MBA provides you with several opportunities to build and expand your professional network. If you’re currently enrolled in an MBA program, be sure to become acquainted with your fellow students and professors. Make sure to look into your program’s career services as well. Many universities will connect you to an alumni network and other career support resources.
Learn more about Emporia State University’s online MBA program.