Rafiullah Faqiri, Junior Marketing Manager at Campus & COO of Rapcult
What is Networking?
When it comes to understanding what exactly networking is and what it is used for, the opinions vary. You might have heard that it's a great way to gain new contacts when it comes to business as it's also stated on Wikipedia: “Networking is a socioeconomic activity by which businesspeople and entrepreneurs meet to form business relationships and to recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities, share information and seek potential partners for ventures.’’
All these definitions are correct but what is missing here is an explanation of why should we spend our time networking with different people. First of all, networking is not only about exchanging information, but it is mostly about establishing relationships with people who can become part of your life in business or even your good friends.
It offers solutions to your problems and leads you to new opportunities because you have found someone who could be helpful on your path if you're struggling as an individual. Thanks to networking, you can get to know many great people from many different circles, and therefore make your life easier. Imagine you are looking for a partner to help you with your project and you are invited to a social event. There you meet someone randomly and explain your current situation to them. That person might be someone who knows the solution to your problem and offers you help. Now you just established a relationship that benefits both sides. You have someone to help you and they have an opportunity to put their knowledge in practice.
Now let’s talk about how does networking work. It all starts with a simple chat between you and somebody else. There is nothing wrong with talking about something that might be out of the other person's interest because we cannot read people’s minds. That is individual networking, also called business networking. Small or big business owners meet in one place and gather contacts of people and/or companies that might be helpful to them in the future. These connections will help them in the future development of their businesses. You might be asking what if you are not comfortable approaching random people on social events and talking about your struggles/wants/needs? Nothing to worry about, there are plenty of social networking sites where you can make great professional contacts, such as Linkedln, Facebook, and other great social sites or just simply e-mails. These might help you to network with people online and get to know them better through their profiles. Nowadays, people are mostly using online networking sites to establish relationships, and explore more opportunities.
Now you might be wondering where exactly can you meet people to network with. Most of the networking happens on social/business events such as events for helping your community, arts, business, entrepreneurship, speeches, conferences, etc. You can meet your future friend or colleague at these events. Nowadays, many co-working spaces offer the opportunity to network by gathering people from different backgrounds and creating a link among them. If you are working at home and looking for someone who can help you with your problems, try some coworking spaces and have a chat with different people about what could help you.
To conclude, networking is an essential part of our life since the second half of the twentieth century and its power is getting bigger and bigger. We're social creatures by nature and good relationships are a big part of our lives, especially in business.
If you are seeking this kind of help, keep in mind that you are not alone and there is always someone to help you.
‘’When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it’’.
- Paulo Coelho
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