No matter where I’ve moved over the years, one of the first things I’ve done is look for professional networking events in my area in hopes of finding a new career opportunity.
But after getting my dream job at Salesforce last year, I started to wonder, ‘Do I really need to attend networking events anymore?’
After all, I was mainly attending to make business connections that would hopefully lead to a new job. After that happened, I found it hard to commit to continually going to networking events. All I could think was, ‘What’s the point?’
After settling into my new job and taking a break from networking, I realized there are actually many other important reasons to attend professional events, other than finding a new career. Here are three reasons you should commit to networking, even if you love your job.
- Find new talent – Networking events are a great place to find people who are looking for a job. Even if you’re not in recruiting, most companies offer a referral bonus for finding new talent. That right there is worth an hour of your time after work. Also, if you have enough time before an event, talk to HR or check your careers page to see what positions your company is hiring for. Then you’ll know what to look for when you’re talking to new people.
- Connect other people – Often times you meet people at events that don’t have much to offer you. But that doesn’t mean they can’t help a colleague or a friend! Try and connect the dots when you’re talking to see if they can help other people in your life. If they can, get their info and make the connection!
- Find friends, partners and fun – When I first moved to the Bay Area, I attended a Young Professionals of San Francisco networking event and met someone who invited me to play on his volleyball team. That led to many seasons playing together, new friendships and even meeting my current boyfriend. In addition to new career opportunities, networking events can also lead to friendships, relationships and finding fun things to do when you’re off the clock.
What are some other reasons to attend networking events?