Any businessperson, especially entrepreneurs like Daniel Klibanoff, will tell you that there may be no factor more important to career development than networking. Klibanoff is a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist from Asheville, North Carolina. He has spent decades networking and thus knows firsthand how important it can be. He explains the benefits of networking for your career, along with a few key networking tips.
Why Networking is Important for Your Career
Networking has the ability to considerably improve and even speed up your career development. There are a number of factors that can influence your career, but networking is by far one of the most powerful yet undervalued. In fact, Daniel Klibanoff claims that it was the many networking events he attended, as well the informal networking opportunities he took advantage of, that led him to have such a long career as an entrepreneur.
Generally speaking, the main reason that networking is so important is because it enables you to meet people at both your company and in your broader industry. This will help you discover job opportunities in the long term, possibly giving you a leg up if you were to apply, and in the short term, it might allow you to find a mentor or advisor who can help you. Beyond simply paving the way to a new or better job, networking can also help you improve certain skills, further develop areas of expertise or interest, and get you noticed by senior management.
Ultimately, Daniel Klibanoff asserts that networking allows you to take your career into your own hands, rather than simply waiting for something to happen, such as a promotion. Networking can happen at both in-person events or even digitally, through online webinars and conferences or through social media platforms like LinkedIn. The more you increase your presence and get to know those in the industry you’d like to work in, the better off your career will be.
Daniel Klibanoff Shares Tips for Networking
As a serial entrepreneur, Daniel Klibanoff is also somewhat of a serial networker. This makes him the perfect person to provide a few key networking tips. First, Klibanoff claims that you should find a networking style that works for you. There are many different strategies you could employ, but ultimately, it’s going to come off as insincere if you choose one that doesn’t fit with your personality. For example, if you’re an introvert, then try networking one on one over coffee or lunch, or only RSVP to smaller networking events.
Second, it would be a mistake to assume that networking is limited to work events with other professionals. The reality is that anytime, anywhere is a networking opportunity. You could reach out to a charitable organization or your alma mater to get more involved. You could also consider volunteering in the local community as a way of exploring a new career path. In essence, don’t limit yourself to cocktail parties and industry conferences.
Klibanoff’s final piece of advice is to always follow up. He has witnessed many people who start networking at a party, they hit it off with a few people, exchange business cards, and then they never follow up. This is a huge mistake. Networking is about the long game, so you can’t just assume that meeting someone once is enough to give you a leg up. You need to build and foster a proper relationship, which involves following up in the days or weeks after your first meeting. That said, don’t overthink your follow up. Daniel Klibanoff claims it’s quite enough to send a LinkedIn request accompanied by a short, personal message about how much you enjoyed chatting with them.