85% of jobs are filled through networking. Networking is good for recruitment, career growth, and upskilling. So networking is clearly important to both your personal career as well as company success. Yet studies consistently show that people find networking painful!
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be.
Good networking comes down to three steps:
- Get access to new people
- Find a connection
- Providing value
Getting access to people
Online networking has been gaining popularity, particularly with the pandemic and according to a recently published workplace study 68% of people prefer in-person networking. Conferences are a great way to expand your network because you get a chance to meet peers from different companies, countries and specialties that you wouldn’t normally meet.
But getting access to people is only the start.
Find a connection
This is the biggest challenge. How do you know if the other people at the conference share the same interests as you or have anything in common at all? A lot of conferences leave this up to people, hoping that sitting beside someone or bumping into someone at the lunch queue will be enough. But this is the hardest part of networking - making the initial connection.
With the introduction of On-Demand content we have a lot more time available during the conference to focus on helping people build their networks. That is what has led to the introduction of Forums. At UXDX we are introducing Forums, guided conversations by a moderator on topics of interest that encourage attendees to share their stories and challenges they are facing.
The forum moderator will direct the discussion and try to see what issues you and your peers are facing in the industry, what has been working really well and where the challenges lie. This will help people to learn how others are solving common challenges but it also lets you find people who share the same interests and challenges as you do.
You can get a great amount of value from your network but you build a network by offering value first. There is always going to be a bit of initiative required in networking and this is where you need to step out of your comfort zone. Each forum is followed by a break so you can connect with the other people who are sharing their stories and offer any insights that you have gleaned from your experience. By sharing what you know, you can build a more meaningful connection - which is what networking is really all about.
There are lots of individuals who have had career success just by the networks that they have created over the years.
When people are asked why they attend a conference with UXDX, networking comes right after knowledge and finding out what others are doing in their industry.
UXDX is making networking as easy as possible for people to start a conversation and help with career success.