Technology, trends and innovations may often drive much of the buzz in the IT industry, but it’s the people behind the scenes that really make things happen. The professional and personal connections you build within your industry niche can play a powerful role in boosting your knowledge base and your career opportunities. That’s why networking is a crucial activity every IT pro should make time for in their busy schedule, whether you’re a project manager, an analyst or anything in-between.
Don’t worry if the idea of putting yourself out there and networking in the industry seems a bit unnerving. It’s easier than you might think, and the payoff can be huge. In this three part series on networking in the IT industry, we’ll cover everything from what it is to how to do it effectively and why. Let’s start with the basics.
So what is networking?
At its core, networking is all about building relationships with other professionals in your sector of the IT world. Scenes of people milling around a busy room chatting and exchanging business cards probably come to mind. That can be a big part of it, and it’s often a good starting point, but the real goal is to make a thoughtful and lasting connection with people in you field, helping to establish yourself as someone to keep on their radar.
Networking can happen in person at trade events and meetups, over the phone, or even online, though it most often unfolds over time through a combination of these methods of contact. It can be very strategically focused and intentional on your part or something that occurs naturally as you get to know people in different situations. Whichever the case, it can open a lot of doors if you do it right.
Why are the benefits of networking?
If you’re wondering why pursing networking opportunities is really worth your time, here are a few compelling reasons for giving it serious consideration:
1) Career advancement – The professional connections you build you build today can help propel you upwards in your field in the future. Referrals, gig leads, and other helpful perks can come from relationships you create and foster through networking.
2) Professional development – You can learn a lot from others in the field, and networking opens the door to conversations that can instill tons of invaluable insights to help you up your game.
3) Camaraderie – Making friends and talking shop within your niche can be a lot of fun. It’s always great to find like-minded individuals who share a passion for the same topics and career paths.
Stay tuned! In our next installment, we’ll cover how to find local networking events and uncover opportunities to connect with colleagues online too.
New to Networking?
Modis can help you navigate the world of networking and the IT community by introducing you new opportunities with the best companies. Our recruiters specialize in matching top candidates to enriching careers.