Networking it is one of those areas which they do not really teach you at school or while you are doing your qualifications whether it is at university or an apprenticeship and for many people it can be quite a daunting experience. You will hear people say it’s a waste of time or an excuse to get out the office. So why is it is good to Network?

Firstly, let’s define networking: ‘‘the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts’’. Sounds technical but I would interpret that to mean meeting a group of people and talking to them. This being done on a regular basis can help build a professional relationship with them.

So for any newly qualified professional, tradesman or someone starting out with a new business, attending networking events is a great tool in getting your name out there and helping your business grow.

On a business level they are great to build up referrals and business contacts where future business can happen, this can not only help you grow but your other local businesses too. In this fast and technology driven world it is still all about who you know.  The connections that you build up as you attend these events regularly means any opportunity could be around the corner.  Furthermore, it helps builds up your company’s image in the local area, greater awareness means potential for greater business, as well as building up your company’s reputation for being professional and good at what you do.

On a personal level they are a great way to build your confidence, it is hard suddenly going into a room full of strangers and be expected to talk to people about your business, I know when I first started going I stayed with people from my firm and just chatted to them but overtime you see the same people and you begin to talk to people and grow every time. As well as gaining friends, people who you may have common interests and associations outside of work, all of which can build up relationships and trust between you and your fellow networkers.

Here at the Next Generation we are trying to be different to your regular networking groups as many young people can find the established groups a bit clique and they not being able to break through, while we offer more open and fun activities run by people like you who have the shared life experiences and are generally in the same shoes as yourself.   In conclusion, for anyone who is the Next Generation in business, please feel free to get in contact with a member of the Next Generation Committee.

Blog by Alexander Stennings
Vice Ambassador Next Gen & Mortgage and Protection Advisor for Vintage Financial Planning