In a business context, what is networking? In a recent article for The Balance Small Business, corporate consultant Susan Ward describes this kind of networking as “the process of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with other businesspeople and potential clients or customers.”
Even if you are on the brink of returning to a physical office, you might still be reticent about the prospect of attending networking events in person. Fortunately, though, many promising networking opportunities – like those listed below – could abound even within your office’s walls.
You could potentially attend business seminars online
Business seminars are among the most tried-and-trusted avenues for professional networking, and would let you foster new working relationships with peers and business associates alike. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that business seminars could only possibly be held in person.
You might be able to find some online seminars – or similar online meet-ups – you would have the option of attending using the computer already set up and running in your office.
The internet is also home to many networking groups
At the best business networking groups, information, ideas and support all flow freely. It’s reassuring, then, that all of this can easily happen even just online.
You could call the internet a treasure trove of corporate networking groups offering promising-looking networking services and communities.
LinkedIn is one good example of a site where such groups thrive. In a survey mentioned by The Balance Careers’ job search expert Alison Doyle, 35% of professionals reported that casually chatting via LinkedIn Messaging had unearthed a new opportunity for them.
You can even network with co-workers
Whether you want to find a new job or progress in your current one, take heart that the ‘key’ to unlocking that opportunity could already routinely sit right next to you in the office.
Even people who work for your business but aren’t quite on the same rung of the career ladder – think the likes of managers and supervisors – could help you in this way.
The charity CABA (Chartered Accountants Benevolent Association) advises: “Make a point of chatting to people internally – in the lift, at the water cooler – so that when your name comes up, you’ll always have an advocate.”
Pay attention to clients and customers who drop by the office
If clients and customers – whether actual or potential – regularly visit your office, you could perhaps take up the task of meeting them in the reception area for a chat. In conversing with them, you could uncover promising career opportunities you may never have heard about otherwise.
Are networking sessions held in the office building itself?
If not, this could be a powerful incentive for you to move into a new one. A serviced office from BE Offices would give you access to networking sessions, while guest speakers might even occasionally visit the office building to hold events there.
A serviced office can also come equipped with the kind of high-speed internet connectivity that could help you to make the most of online networking opportunities.