Networking can happen anytime, anywhere. However, there are common situations in which many people apply their networking skills to solve a problem, gain helpful advice, or learn new information about something. It is especially helpful when searching for support in light of making a career or business-based decision.
1) Choosing careers and career management. People normally network when faced with choosing a career direction, or to generate career options, obtain information about careers, to make career decisions, or potentially when they would like to try out new career options.
2) Job Search. It is common for a person to build a professional network when he or she needs assistance with acquiring a job. Although this is not the main objective of networking, it may be an added bonus because you never know who or what your contacts know. Contacts may also help you with planning a job search strategy or may offer assistance with preparing the tools of your job search. Networking helps you uncover job leads. It may event help you find people to act as agents for you, to find people to interview or hire you, for guidance as you evaluate job offers, as well as for emotional support.
3) Career Management. Networking with others can be beneficial in your quest to manage your career. Connecting with and learning from others can aid you in your career; your contacts can offer advice and assistance from their past experiences, as well as wisdom gained in their current fields. Your contacts can refer you to additional contacts who may be able to offer even more precise advice.
4) Business management. Interested in starting and managing your own business? If you have not fully researched the process, you can connect with others in the community who have successfully started and are running their own companies. Learn firsthand how to follow in their footsteps and develop your own business, consulting practice or other self-employment enterprise.