When you hear the word “networking”, what comes to your mind first?
You probably think about going to a job fair or asking all of your friends, family members and acquaintances for jobs.
But if you are currently employed, you might very well have easy access to one of the best networks you can have.
Let me introduce you to a different networking concept – that of “inside” networking, “inside” meaning: within your current company or organization.
68% of large U.S. companies have some kind of employee networks, according to the Diversity Best Practices group.
Lots of these corporate networking groups are divided into functional categories, like sales, public relations, etc.
You might ask: “but how will I benefit from joining a networking group within my company? Why will this help my career?”
Here are 7 reasons why joining one of your company’s networking group, like the “Advertising Leadership Team” will give a huge boost to your career
1, You will have access to company leaders you otherwise wouldn’t through interaction within the group and through delivering presentations, and joining in on projects.
2, Active involvement in company decision making process. For example: if you are an integral part of your company’s “Advertising Leadership Team” you will have insight into how decisions are made and you will also have responsibility for the success of projects involving that team.
3, You will have access to a huge network of like-minded professionals who are also interested in advancing their career, participating in special projects and learning new skills.
4, Being part of the networking group and being involved with special projects also means that you will also a pulse on the big picture, more specifically: the corporate-wide happenings.
5, You will also gain insights into industry happenings through your regular contact with decision-makers, like-minded peers and training opportunities.
6, Because these networks are there to support not only their members (you) but mainly the parent organization (your company), your involvement in a successful network project will lead to recognition and consequently, advancement opportunities.
7, Education and advancement. Company networks regularly offer skill-building opportunities through seminars, professional training sessions, and mentor relationships. Take advantage of all of them to advance your career and expand your knowledge base!
Here are a couple of tips to make the most of your network participation
How to find the RIGHT networking group?
Join one that not only has an active agenda but also boasts the endorsement and personal involvement of a senior manager you respect and want to learn from.
One more tip in closing:
Before you join a networking group, make sure that you create a plan and in it define what it is that you want out of your network participation and contribute to your network accordingly.
Good luck networking WITHIN your company! Because internal company networks work with basically every level of corporate hierarchy, you will get exposure to and contact with major decision-makers within the company.
These networks serve as bridges connecting a variety of professionals from all levels within an organization. By becoming a member of such networks, you will gain an incredible career advantage and will develop friendship, professional contacts, expand your knowledge base and, ultimately, benefit your career for a long time to come.
Rita Fisher, a Certified Professional Resume Writer, writes professional resumes for job seekers. She has received publicity for her work with job seekers on the Oprah Winfrey Show, in McCall's magazine and in many other media sources. Her professional resume writing work has been featured in "Gallery of Best Resumes" a book by Jist Publishing. You can reach her at http://www.CareerChangeResumes.com.