5 Benefits Of Networking When Changing Careers

For some, networking can come across as insincere or self-serving. It's understandable to feel uncomfortable with the idea, especially if you're an introvert. Research has shown that avoid networking because it makes them feel physically dirty. However, is vital, especially when changing careers. It's not just about building your LinkedIn connections or reaching out when you need a job; it's about cultivating valuable relationships over time. It's common for people to network only within their field, but expanding your connections beyond your current expose you to diverse perspectives and widens your opportunities. Yes, networking may involve dealing with some rejection or awkwardness, but the benefits are worth it. 

When changing careers, networking can have a significant impact on your journey. Here are some ways it can benefit you:

1. Give contacts a chance to help: Networking allows your connections to support your transition and spread the word about your new career interests. It can also help you explain why you're changing careers and show people you're serious about it. Plus, you never know who might have contacts in the industries or companies you're interested in.

2. Get valuable career advice: Networking outside your current industry can expand and provide essential career advice. Reach out to people in volunteer organizations, alumni groups, or even friends and family who have experience in your new field. Set up virtual coffees and ask thoughtful questions. You never know when a conversation could lead to a job opportunity.

3. Meet other career changers: Networking allows you to connect with people who have accomplished what you're aiming for. They can provide valuable tips and inspiration to help you on your journey.

4. Practice your transition statement: As you make your career transition, you'll need to explain your story to others. Practice your transition statement or elevator pitch to explain why you're making the change, how experience is relevant, and your plan to get there.

5. Build confidence: Confidence is a skill that can be developed. Networking can help you build confidence and take risks in your new career. With enhanced confidence comes better mental and physical health, which are crucial elements for success in changing careers.

Once you've made the switch, keep your network informed and express gratitude to anyone who has helped you. Also, pay it forward by helping a fellow career changer in the future. Changing careers is challenging, but having a strong support system makes it easier. 

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