The power of networking: Building relationships for success

May 21, 2024
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Entrepreneurship Insights
Elvire Jaspers
The power of networking: Building relationships for success

Networking – it’s a term we’ve all heard countless times, often associated with mingling at events, exchanging business cards, and sending LinkedIn connection requests. But its true essence lies beyond these surface-level interactions.

If you’re looking to elevate your networking game to propel your career, here are the best strategies to turn meet-and-greet platitudes into promising leads – and more.

The power of networking

Networking is the lifeblood of professional success. It’s a strategic tool that opens doors to new opportunities, fosters personal growth, provides support, and enhances your visibility in competitive landscapes.

American entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn is famously quoted as saying “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” This sentiment encapsulates the essence of networking – surrounding yourself with people who inspire, challenge, and uplift you which motivates you to elevate your own trajectory.

Imagine walking into a room filled with potential collaborators and industry experts who could become invaluable allies to your career. That’s the power of a well-cultivated network – a vibrant ecosystem teeming with possibilities. It’s about more than just visibility: it’s about accessing a wealth of knowledge, building trust, and establishing yourself as a valuable contributor within your field.

Strategies for professional networking

So, what are the strategies for effective professional networking in today’s dynamic and competitive business landscape? Let’s explore some actionable steps you can take to unlock new opportunities for growth and advancement.

Social networking

Online social networks are vibrant virtual networking hubs that provide amazing opportunities to connect with professionals from around the world. Platforms like LinkedIn, X, and other specialised professional networks like AngelList help professionals make meaningful connections, network, and grow their ideas together.

To leverage these platforms effectively, it’s important to cultivate a strong online presence. You can do this by optimising your professional profiles with relevant information and a list of your achievements – and don’t sleep on the power of a great profile picture. Actively engaging with industry-related content and participating in discussions will bolster your presence and foster connections within your online community.

Industry events

While many aspects of our lives have moved into the digital space, there is still no better replacement for the power of face-to-face interactions when it comes to networking. Attending conferences, workshops, and networking events in your field will give you tangible opportunities to create genuine connections.

Approaching these events with a genuine interest and your authenticity will shine through. These are great opportunities to learn from and connect with like-minded professionals, laying the groundwork for ideas to flourish. Strike up conversations, exchange ideas, and be open to building meaningful relationships that extend beyond event venues. This leads us to our next tip…

Building genuine relationships

With LinkedIn connections just a click away, it’s easy to fall into the trap of chasing quantity over quality when it comes to networking. However, the true value of networking lies in the quality of relationships rather than the sheer number of connections.

Instead of casting a wide net, focus on nurturing genuine, mutually beneficial relationships with people who share your values and aspirations. Show genuine interest in others, actively listen to their stories, and offer support where possible. By investing time and effort into cultivating authentic connections, you lay the foundation for a supportive network that can help propel you toward your goals.


Seeking out mentorship is a powerful way to accelerate your professional growth and development. Mentors, with their wealth of experience and insights, can provide invaluable insights and guidance to support you through your career journey.

Take a considered approach when selecting your mentor. It’s important to identify people who possess the skills and knowledge you aspire to emulate. Don’t hesitate to reach out and request mentorship, you will be surprised how many people are eager to share their experience.

Taking on a mentor requires being receptive to feedback, actively engaging with your mentors, and leveraging their expertise to overcome challenges to seize new opportunities.

Network within your company

Networking doesn’t only mean making external connections, it’s equally important to cultivate relationships within your own organisation. By fostering strong internal relationships, you not only expand your professional network and create a better working environment but also spark opportunities for mentorship, collaboration, and career advancement.

Participate in company events, workshops, and social activities to forge meaningful connections and create a positive and collaborative work culture.

Give back and offer value

Networking is a two-way street that thrives on reciprocity. As you receive support and guidance from your network, it’s essential to pay it forward by offering assistance, sharing knowledge, and being a valuable resource to others.

Actively contribute to discussions, provide support and advice when needed, and be willing to lend a helping hand where needed. Offering value to your network helps to solidify your position as a trusted and respected member of the community – things that hiring managers and recruiters especially value.

Network to get work – and more

Networking is an ongoing process driven by authenticity, reciprocity, and genuine human connection. Its long-term benefits extend far beyond mere career advancement. Successful professional networking involves knowledge sharing, personal development, and a sense of belonging within a supportive community.

Remember that the true value lies not in the quantity of connections but in the quality of relationships you cultivate.

Elvire Jaspers

Elvire is WeAreBrain’s CEO. She has worked in the tech industry for many years, successfully running and selling her own start-up in 2017. With a big passion for sailing, she's very keen on conquering the seas (besides the tech space).

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