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Why networking is so important for young professionals

Why Networking is So Important for Young Professionals

As a young lawyer, I had no idea of the impact networking would have on my long-term career. I assumed that behaving decently and doing a good job would be enough to succeed. It took me about seven years to realise that building relationships was a key part of forging my own path.

And while everyone is different, I’ve learned there are (at least) four things that all young professionals should keep in mind while building their careers.

The people in our network will become future leaders

Building a professional network is an investment in the future. Our peers and mentors today will likely become leaders, business owners and decision-makers tomorrow. Nurture these relationships from the start and you lay a strong foundation for future collaborations, partnerships, and work.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint

Networking is an ongoing, dynamic process that requires consistent, proactive engagement. It doesn’t bear fruit if you network one month and give up the next. Great networkers make it part of their job and their identity. Attending industry events, joining associations, and actively participating in online forums are essential to establish connections, leading to opportunities, mentoring, and an edge in the job market.

Networking is an exercise in skills development

Networking isn’t just about making connections; it’s a continuous process of self-improvement. Engaging with other professionals provides a platform for skill enhancement and knowledge exchange. Often, I find the experiences shared over coffee are as instructive as formal learning. Take every opportunity to learn from experienced contacts to refine your skills and become known in your field.

Staying front of mind

Consistency is key, and staying front of mind is crucial for career success. Regular engagement, thoughtful communication, and finding ways to add value to your network will keep you on the radar. Face to face catch ups, sharing insights, and showing genuine interest in others’ endeavours will position you well for opportunities when they arise.

So, network early, network widely and network consistently – it’s the best investment in your career you can make.

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