Do you dread networking? Research shows that networking has a positive correlation on career success, has the potential to support your job search goals and enhance your long-term career plans (Wolff, & Moser, 2009). Networking doesn’t have to mean you attend every mixer that falls into the scope of the industry where you want to work. Sometimes that can be stressful. Meeting new people and trying to connect with them can be a challenge for even seasoned individuals.
So what does networking mean to you and your search? According to Wolff and Moser (2009) networking has a positive correlation on career success. In their longitudinal study, networking had a positive impact on salary growth as well. Interestingly, they studied internal versus external networking in relation to building, maintaining and nurturing contacts. They also found that individuals who engaged in networking activities were more satisfied with their careers. The other interesting finding from their study is that there was a positive salary increase that occurs when individuals focus on networking within their current organization (Wolff, & Moser, 2009).
Let’s break that down. We all know networking is beneficial. Meeting the right person could generate a lead for you that impacts your career search. But what if you are already in an organization that you love and want to grow in? Wolff and Moser’s research dictates that there is a level of relationship building or nurturing internal contacts that must occur in order to grow your career (and your salary!). Had you considered that networking within your own organization has a positive impact on your career?
My advice to you is that you make a plan for joining associations in your field of interest. I also always suggest networking with a great non profit whose cause you support. It is wonderful to support an organization’s need and meet other like minded people. If you are already working for a company you want to grow in, my advice is that you also create a plan to genuinely meet and build relationships with individuals that you want to learn and grow with. It is a simple way to enhance your career goals and learn from others. I will leave you with one last important finding from the study which is that the responsibility for managing a career has shifted from the organizations responsibility, to the individuals responsibility. So what are you doing to take ownership of your career goals? Your future lies in your own hands. Create your strategic networking plan and design your own destiny.
Wolff, H.-G., & Moser, K. (2009). Effects of networking on career success: A longitudinal study. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(1), 196–206. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0013350