The Power of Networking: How Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone Can Transform Your Career

Published by

Jennifer Sethre

"Networking doesn't work; it's uncomfortable, self-serving, and disingenuous." This sentiment is echoed by 99% of job seekers who view networking as a necessary evil. However, those who hold this attitude are missing out on the tremendous value that their network can provide. In fact, I have a success story that proves just how impactful networking can be.

Recently, I was working with a client who was keen on making connections at her dream companies. As we were exploring potential leads, I stumbled upon an alumnus from the University of Minnesota, my own alma mater. While I didn't know him personally, I decided to take a chance and sent a connection request along with a friendly note.

To my delight, he accepted my request! Encouraged by this positive response, I followed up the next day with a message expressing my gratitude and explaining the purpose of my outreach. I informed him that I had a client who was interested in a leadership role and asked if he would be open to making an introduction.

To my surprise, he responded promptly, offering his assistance and providing his contact information. This exchange exceeded my expectations and highlighted the incredible potential of networking. It showcased how a simple connection could lead to unexpected opportunities.

This is precisely what your network can do for you and what you can do for them. If you approach networking with resistance or are unwilling to offer support when someone reaches out to you, you are limiting your own professional growth. It's important to remember that what goes around comes around. By being the support you would want to receive, you create a reciprocal environment where people are willing to help one another.

Authenticity and genuineness are key when it comes to networking. Avoid sounding like a pushy salesperson and instead focus on building meaningful connections. When you approach networking with sincerity, incredible things can happen. Embrace the mindset of giving and receiving, and you'll be amazed at the positive outcomes.

Once you recognize the power of networking, don't stop. Keep the momentum going. It's much easier to tap into the connections you've nurtured than to start from scratch when you're in need. Think of networking as a long-term investment in your professional development. Nurture your relationships, keep them warm, and continue to seek opportunities to connect with others.

I encourage you to share your networking success stories. Let's celebrate the power of professional connections and learn from one another's experiences. Networking can be a transformative force in your career, and by embracing it, you open yourself up to a world of possibilities.