We explain what business networking is, what it is for and what types exist. In addition, we tell you how to network.

The networking allows you to add known and potential strategic allies.

What is networking?

In the professional and business world, it is understood by Anglicism networking to the practice of making contacts, that is, of meet other professionals and businessmen with a view to future and possible investment and work opportunities. It is also common to use other terms for this same activity, such as: relational marketing, business networks or work networks.

The idea of networking consists of expanding labor networks (hence its name in English: net“network”, and work, “work”), to add known and potential strategic allies. For this, entrepreneurs or professionals usually coincide in meetings of networkingwhose purpose is to allow and facilitate social relations between the interested parties, and to promote the exchange of contact details, advice and mentoring.

Currently, it is possible to do networking digitally, thanks to applications and social networks dedicated to the professional field, such as LinkedIn and even Twitter.

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what is the use of networking?

Most professionals and entrepreneurs agree on the importance of networking What source of potential allies, of employees or employers, and of potential partners. This is because having a vast work network translates into greater strategic opportunities, greater presence in the professional circuit, and a more direct communication channel between professionals.

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As for specific purposes, the networking can be used for:

  • Get partners, investors or employees for the business itself.
  • Meet other professionals in the area and receive advice, news and be up to date in the field of interest.
  • Meet potential employers or mentoring from professionals with more experience.
  • Establish links with eventual competitors that lead to strategic alliances.

Types networking

There are three types of networking:

  • networking staff. It is what a person does for himself, outside of his current job, and that is based on his social and interpersonal relationships. For an individual with a vast personal network, it will be easier to change jobs, start on his own or get advice.
  • networking strategic. It is the one carried out by the professionals of a company or organization, either with equivalents in other companies (networking horizontal) or with professionals in a position of authority (networking vertical), who are committed to professional development opportunities in the future.
  • networking operational. It is what the employees of a company carry out to exchange knowledge and experience, increase their value for the company and face their challenges from new and more efficient perspectives.

How to do networking?

networking how to do it
Being present at events related to the work area enhances the personal brand.

There are many different ways to do a job networking. Among the main ones are:

  • Promote your own personal brand. To develop a more visible presence in the professional circuit and project your work beyond the office, you can print business cards, open and update profiles on work social networks or be present at events linked to the work area.
  • Develop social talents. To expand contacts it is essential to meet new people and for that you must socialize: attend meetings of after office, participate in forums and presentations. Knowing how to listen, knowing how to communicate and a good dose of leadership are key in this regard.
  • always go prepared. Opportunities must always be taken advantage of, and for this some personal work is essential: reflect on short- and medium-term goals, prepare a “elevator pitch” (a brief personal introduction) in advance and always be clear about what you are looking for at an event. Clear ideas allow concordant actions.
  • Continuously update contact networks. Whether it is a digital portal or an analog agenda, it is important to be up to date in terms of contacts. This means updating phone numbers, knowing where our contacts are and being aware of their achievements, movements and initiatives.
  • be generous when appropriate. Human beings tend to be reciprocal in affection and in social relationships, which is why we generally respond with gratitude to the generosity of others. Having a grateful contact can be the difference to discover an opportunity on time. That is why generosity with the information that is handled is important.
  • Subscribe to clubs networking. There are numerous organizations dedicated to networking between professionals and entrepreneurs. A quick investigation can update us on which are the best known in our area and which are more suitable for our professional profile.
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  • “Networking” on Wikipedia.
  • “What is networking?” at the European Postgraduate Center (CEUPE).
  • “What is Networking and Why Do You Need to do it?” at Columbia University Center for Career Education (USA).