Networking:  An asset to creating professional relationships

“ Your network is your real net worth” – Porter Gale

Building a network early on in your career is an important part of one’s journey in any industry. It is critical to have the ability to create a network of genuine personal and professional contacts. This is a valuable tool that will introduce you to new prospects, new business for your firm, and even lifelong relations.

In this article, we discuss the different aspects to keep in mind when you start fostering professional relations through networking.

What is networking?

Networking is all about interacting with other professionals to gain information and build a network of mutually beneficial working relationships. Networking helps you broaden your circle of acquaintances , exposing you to job opportunities and meaningful engagement in industry news and trends.

What are the benefits of networking?

Increased Exposure: By making a conscious effort to present yourself in the right places to the right people, you market yourself. Christine Comaford, an American serial entrepreneur, better explains it as “marketing yourself, your uniqueness, and what you stand for.” Essentially, people are significantly more willing to work with you if they know and trust you.

Confidence building: By continually putting yourself out there, you are effectively stepping out of your comfort zone and building invaluable social skills and confidence.

Access to resources: Through networking, you can gain access to resources such as industry insights, knowledge, and contacts.

Career growth:Networking can help you grow professionally by giving you the opportunity to learn from the experience of other professionals.

Building relationships: Networking can help you be more efficient by connecting you to the right people who can provide you with the support and advice you need.

Rorisang Mzozoyana (@rori_legalcounsel), Senior-Legal Counsel (Banking) and CEO of Of Counsel Pty Ltd, stressed the significance of developing lifelong professional partnerships with your goals and career projection in mind at a session with SWCM Mentees.

How do you go about networking

Attend events (career fairs, organisations, seminars and coffee breaks): This will provide you the opportunity to demonstrate your communication and presentation skills but also a great opportunity for aspirant legal minds to pick the brains of experienced practitioners and get advice from people within the industry

Participate in vacation work: Many firms use vac work as part of their recruitment process, this provided you with the opportunity to market your skills and competencies

Join mentorship programmes: Group mentorship provides you with a network of peers.