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How Networking Can Supercharge Your Career in Tech

Networking as a concept can be viewed negatively, including in the technology sector. It can be seen as a bit cringe going to an event and trying to strike up conversations with people you don’t know in a room where everybody else appears to already know each other! There is a place for networking like that and stepping out of your comfort zone, but it is only one type of networking. The fact is, networking can be hugely positive and personally rewarding, and it can supercharge your career in tech.

That might sound like a bit of hyperbole, but it is true. By building and nurturing your network, you can advance your career, with benefits over the short, medium, and long term.

Before looking at how your career in tech can be improved by networking, let’s first define what we mean by the term.

What is Networking?

There is often confusion about what networking is. Some people view networking as a selling opportunity, where you meet new people to sell yourself, the services you offer, the company you work for, or all three. This is not only a narrow viewpoint – it can also limit the potential benefits of networking.

Getting a sale (or your dream job) can be an outcome of networking, but it shouldn’t be the primary focus. Instead, networking is about establishing long-term relationships, building your reputation, and learning more about your industry and the people who are involved.

You should approach networking with a long-term outlook and be prepared to give at least as much as you receive.

How Your Tech Career Can Be Improved Through Networking

There are seven main ways that networking can enhance your career in tech and help you achieve your professional objectives.

1. Creates More and Better Business Connections

One of the primary objectives of networking is to establish and nurture new business connections. These connections can benefit your career in a range of different ways over both the short and long term.

2. Enhances Your Visibility and Reputation

Networking helps you get noticed and builds your reputation in the industry. This can open doors to new opportunities ranging from project collaborations to job offers and everything in between.

3. Generates Ideas

Networking exposes you to different ideas and ways of working that you can adapt or implement in your current role. This can improve your knowledge and capabilities as well as your performance in your current role. That, in turn, can lead to new opportunities, including promotions.

4. Builds Self-Confidence

Many people don’t reach their full potential in their careers because of a lack of self-confidence. Networking is a way to get outside of your comfort zone to do something new in different surroundings often with people you have never met before. Being able to participate in and contribute to conversations related to your industry can also help to build self-confidence.

5. Improves Your Soft Skills

Improving your skills is a key priority for most people working in tech. You need to continuously improve and develop your skills to keep up with the pace of change and to ensure your knowledge and capabilities remain relevant.

While improving your hard skills – technology skills – is important, it is also beneficial to continuously improve your soft skills. Soft skills include skills like communication, leadership, emotional intelligence, and adaptability. Networking can help you improve a range of essential soft skills.

6. Get Career Guidance, Advice, and Support

Getting good advice and support is essential to achieving your career goals. Even if you have good support and guidance from your existing employer and business contacts, it is still beneficial to get additional help and advice wherever it is available. New perspectives, ideas, and opportunities can come from having a wider business network.

7. Advance Your Career

All of the above points help to advance your career in the direction you want it to go. The benefits of networking for your career might not be immediate, but they will be delivered over time if you continue to nurture relationships already established and seek out new business relationships with others in your industry.

Quid Pro Quo

When it comes to networking, you will get out of it as much as you put in, so it is important to approach networking with an open mind and supportive attitude. You should be prepared to help and support others as much as you want help and support for yourself. With this approach, networking can supercharge your career in tech.

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