The Power of Networking
It’s amazing how unintentionally we stumble upon a situation where we have a significant reminder of the achievement of others who have so much influenced the life choices we make and the opportunities we enjoy.
Whilst in Conwy I happened upon a National Trust property I have never noticed before – The only medieval merchant’s house to have survived the turbulent history of the walled town over nearly six centuries.
On looking around we came across a room packed with exhibits related to the Suffragettes, I couldn’t resist taking some photos and sharing them with you.
Of course I had to ask the question ‘What was the connection of the merchant’s house with the Suffragettes?’ Apparently, the women all met in the downstairs café in the basement and planned their campaign to gain the vote. How wonderful to stumble across this little gem of history and find myself in the very spot these incredibly brave women met. Interestingly, it was a Temperance house so only tea would have been consumed!
It got me thinking of how incredibly powerful the Suffragette network was and how effective they were in communicating without the advantages of modern day social media, technology or even, for many, the telephone. Can you imagine organising the march to London 100 years ago without the communication systems we now take for granted?
We all know how important networking is and how much easier it is to accomplish today but many of us still avoid it or see it as a chore.
Research shows that the most connected people are often the most successful. When you invest in your relationships — professional and personal — it can pay back in dividends throughout the course of your career. Networking will help you develop and improve your skill set, stay on top of the latest trends in your industry, keep a pulse on the job market, meet prospective mentors, partners, and clients, and gain access to the necessary resources that will foster your career development.
Career development is influenced by a number of things that include the jobs you hold, the experiences you gain in and out of the office, the success you achieve at each stage of your career, the formal and informal education and training you receive, and the feedback you’re provided with along the way.
Ideally, organisations would place more emphasis on employee development in the workplace. However, the reality is that we have to take control of our career development. Hence the importance of networking: as you network with people at your company, in your industry, and even outside your field of interest, you’ll uncover opportunities to connect with different types of mentors and advisors, increase your visibility with senior management, further develop your areas of expertise, and improve your soft skills.
At the WLA we are here to help you make those connections through conferences and mentoring to help you achieve your career goals. You don’t have to go it alone or do it all yourself. Our conferences are designed to maximise networking opportunities and support you in making those all important connections.
We hope you’ll come along to one of our conferences in September and maximise the networking opportunities to build your connections.