Networking provides the opportunity to build mutually beneficial relationships with other professionals in your community. These can be useful contacts which you can take with you through your career, whether they be a supplier, customer or mentor.
Being seen at networking events from around your local area can help you build up a positive reputation – people will start to recognise you and in turn, the company you work for and the services you provide.
Through your social networks, it also looks good if you are engaged in goings on around your business community and could help you increase your connections through online platforms, as well as at in-person events.
The more you network, the easier it will be to put yourself out there. For many young professionals, it can seem like a daunting prospect when getting started, but it will become more comfortable. Something to remember is that many people are in the same boat when they first start networking – even the most confident public speakers had to start somewhere.
It also helps to start networking with likeminded people within your industry or age range, which is when membership organisations like Generation Next come in to help – to arm you with networking skills to take with you as you progress.
Particularly for the younger generation of business, learning from other leaders can be crucial in developing knowledge about key skills or industries – and networking can help you come across potential mentors, and events often showcase keynote speakers.
Networks can also be very supportive environments, as most members are going through the same sort of queries, creating an opportunity to work together to solve problems or learn from one another’s experiences.
Building on the previous point, networking can be a great way to stimulate new ideas, through talking to others, or being inspired by a keynote speaker. Making new connections also opens up the chance for collaboration on a project or idea.
The team at East Midlands Chamber sees first-hand the importance of a network’s role in fostering collaboration between members of the business community. In our Business Awards programme this year, companies have been recognised for successful collaborative projects which have reaped rewards for all parties involved.
It’s important to keep informed about the goings-on across the business community – and one of the best ways to do that is to catch up with its members. This again can lead to idea creation, or new opportunities for you to pitch to your team or manager.
A commonality between all the benefits of networking discussed is that it leads to new opportunities, which can help shape your future in business – whether that be finding useful connections or customers, raising your profile, improving your confidence or encouraging creative thinking.
Through networking and educational events, Generation Next aims to equip young professionals with these opportunities and skills to help them thrive within the East Midlands business community in the early years of their careers.
Generation Next will be hosting its Christmas social on 8 December at the Gresham Aparthotel in Leicester, where the network’s chair Emma Baumback and vice chair Daniel Nikolla will discuss the programme for its membership package for 2023. To attend, visit https://generationnextemc.co.uk/event/generation-next-christmas-social/