The Importance of Building Your Network

Moving on and up in your career is becoming increasingly challenging. While technology has made the process of finding opportunities a whole lot easier, it has also made it easier to apply for roles.

As a result what can often happen is that there are an excessive number of applicants and you can easily get lost among others.

Equally as organisations look closer and closer at their spending, there is increasingly a reluctance to make use of recruitment consultants except for very specialised or senior roles.

So what does this mean for you if you are actively seeking to make that next career step?

Your network becomes even more important. Trouble is many accountants and professionals don’t necessarily make the time to build their network. Alternatively they might see networking as something they are not very good at.

Now here’s the thing. Networking is essentially about building relationships. Too often people are looking for instant results. The reality is that it is never like that.

Think about the people you really know and really respect personally and professionally. Did you get to know them well overnight? Highly unlikely. It took time, effort and interest.

When you focus on building relationships it’s a two way thing. As well as reaching out to your network for help, you go out of your way to help them.

Now you may be wondering about how to build that network.

The first step in my experience is to map your network into groupings such as:
• Friends
• Family
• Recruitment consultants
• Current colleagues
• Past colleagues
• People with similar interest
• Clubs, associations, societies which you belong to

Next categorise people in terms of how able they are to help you to move forward in your career. A word of caution here. It is really easy to discount people without considering who might be in their network.

Then start to build or re-build the relationship. In some cases this can be offline as well as online through places like LinkedIn.

I know that in my time in accountancy 50% of the roles I secured were as a result of a connection to someone in my network.

So what could you be doing to build your network?

Duncan Brodie helps accountants and professionals to build successful careers.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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