A leading business advisor has reinforced the importance of professional networking – saying it may suffer a bad rap but it’s actually a vital tool to improving careers and making connections.
“Irrespective of industry, functionality, or job title, networking is an absolute imperative,” says Janine Garner, a renowned Fortune 500 mentor and founder of the LBD Group.
“We’re living in such a busy world right now, speed of change is incredible, we have collaborations coming out of the woodwork, we have innovations seemingly happening at the touch of a button and the reality is, if we are going to remain relevant in this ever-changing and uncertain future, we cannot do it alone.”
Garner – who recently penned best-seller ‘It’s Who You Know’ – says HR professionals are being challenged every day in terms of finding talent, retaining talent and becoming an employer of choice but creating a solid network could help them thrive.
“If you want to stand-out in a field which is increasingly competitive and ever-changing, you need to connect with people who are going to help you achieve your goals, who are going to share information that matters and who will ultimately allow you to continue to innovate and ideate,” she tells HRD.
While Garner says professional networking is and will always be important, she says it’s even more vital that industry leaders surround themselves with the right people.
“What’s more important now than ever before, in this constantly-changing business, is ensuring you’ve got the right people around you and the right business network, that will help you achieve whatever goals you’re setting out to achieve,” she says.
Garner encourages HR professionals to identify their key skills and those they still need to acquire so they can determine who they must build connections with to drive their career forward.
“Those people need to be internally and externally,” says Garner. “A good network is cross-functional, it’s cross-hierarchical, it’s cross geography, it’s cross industry, it really is a diversity of thinking, of insight, of opinion, of experience and it enables us to find new opportunities, to find new ideas and to actually move with much more certainty along that journey of success.”