3 Career Advantages of Staying Engaged

It is the time of year for starting anew, so why not try new things professionally too? If you haven’t been networking, start building connections you can engage with throughout your career. The value of being engaged with others in your industry is key to expanding your professional and personal skill sets.

According to an ABC News report, 80 percent of all jobs are obtained through networking, but you won’t be considered for that new job if nobody knows about you. Networking makes you known.

The more people you encounter, the more connections you start adding to your bank of professional cohorts and, in turn, start to provide you with professional advice, career opportunities and possibly even business leads. You should be using every professional and social opportunity to meet, connect and engage with new people inside and outside your industry.

3 Values of Engagement:
  1. Professional Advice
    Engaging with others in your industry is a great way to acquire best business practices. Learning the successes and failures of other strategies is a valuable tool. Once you attain these life lessons, you can take what they have done, tweak it and then plan initiatives for your own company and career.For example, if you are new to a sales team and can’t seem to book an appointment with a certain business, what do you do? You either can move on to another account or seek advice from a more seasoned representative who has been in the same boat. By reaching out, you establish a relationship while also learning something valuable for your career. Be sure to thank connections for their time and keep them updated with any success stemming from their advice, because you likely will want their advice again in the future.
  2. Business Leads
    Building contacts is a given. Anyone can collect a giant stack of business cards, but the key is to communicate with them regularly. By using intentional and value-added content or conversation, you open doors to business prospects. Your relationship with your new contact must be strong enough for him or her to recommend your services to a friend. In order to build strong enough connections, make an effort to associate with them beyond standard networking events by reaching out to them for coffee, lunch or opportunities that would be of interest to them.
  3. Career Opportunities
    By demonstrating courteous and consistent engagement with others you have met, your possibilities for career opportunities are endless. Professional networking can expose you to the right person at a company you’ve been trying to work for or a person who knows the individual responsible for hiring for your dream position. It’s all about who you know and what they know. If they know you are a high-quality individual and you’ve created a solid relationship through engagement, you will have a credible source willing to vouch for you with the hiring team.

When you engage, you don’t just show up; you are personal, intentional and consistent with your relationships. Remember, anyone can pass along a business card, but very few can remember something significant from their conversations with others to make an impact. Now that’s engaging.