Networking is, and will continue to be, an important professional activity for business professionals. I previously stated that 60 – 70% of employed individuals located their most recent job opportunity through networking. In a poll I conducted on LinkedIn, these numbers were corroborated when 59% of 1,339 respondents chose the category “by networking with friends and colleagues” as the strategy that led them to their most recent job. Therefore, networking seems to be three times more effective than using an on-line job board and almost three times more effective than using a recruiter.
Similarly, self-employed business owners state that 95% of their business opportunities come from networking. Whether you are seeking a web designer, an accountant or a mechanic, you will almost always pick up the phone or email a friend or colleague and ask for a referral.
For business professionals looking for their next job or self-employed business owners seeking revenue, networking has many benefits. When networking, these individuals can:
- Practice how they verbally and visually present themselves to others.
- Polish how they describe their goals, needs, and capabilities.
- Meet colleagues who can introduce them to others who can help them.
- Connect with colleagues whose work complements their own, creating new synergies and opportunities.
- Hear what others are doing which may generate new ideas for them.
- Create opportunities for others to give them feedback on what they are doing that works and what they are doing that could improve.
By and far, networking is the most effective strategy for business professionals to land a job and self-employed business owners to generate revenue.