When people of different ages and backgrounds meet to talk about networking and share an online networking session, the result is surprising and extremely positive. A dozen participants, all members of the Cala Learning Hub network, were able to experience this on 10th December 2021 during a webinar on the subject led by coach and trainer Joanna Menezes.
What is a professional network?
It is "a system of social ties forged in the workplace or through specialised organisations in order to achieve a predetermined goal", says Joanna Menezes by way of definition. But in reality, it is much more than that. "It is also, and above all, a way of helping each other, exchanging and sharing experiences or contacts in order to develop one's career," she continues.
There are three types of network: an operational network, which helps us professionally on a day-to-day basis (colleagues, etc.), a personal network, which enables us to develop personally, and a strategic network, which will help us to develop longer term.
Why is networking so important?
- To find a job, a candidate or new clients
- To make yourself or your company known
- To find out about a person, a position, a company...
- To benchmark, exchange advice, knowledge and best practices
- For personal development, to find a mentor...
How to network welll?
Ideally, you should dedicate 10 to 15 hours a week to networking. No time? Joanna Menezes, who is herself used to the exercise, advises: "It should be an integral part of our schedule, in the form of lunches, coffees or social media activity for example. Formally or informally, it is important to nurture all types of connections that you have around you, both professional and personal.
The first step is to ask yourself the right questions. Where am I in my career? What is my goal? Who can help me? Then, adopt a networking mindset, i.e. being open to meeting others, curiosity and a give-and-take philosophy. Then, there are many ways to network: participate in face-to-face events or online conferences, join a professional network or a community service association, be present on social media such as Linkedin... "The important thing is to choose a network that suits us best and be an active participant ", explains Joanna.
The webinar ended with 10 minute networking session in small groups to exchange and share tips. What was the outcome? All those who were apprehensive about the exercise came away pleasantly surprised.
Blog article written by par Laure Blancard : https://www.linkedin.com/in/laure-blancard/