For the past 2-3 years, I have tried to run regularly. I would never have called myself a runner, after all if I ran for 20 minutes and didn’t feel like it was going well, I would just stop running and walk back to my car. Or I would press snooze on my alarm as it was easier to sleep in than to put my running gear on.
Last year, however, I was introduced to a running group. A network of runners who, like me, enjoy being out in the fresh air and pounding the pavement. There were people of all different fitness levels, some training for a marathon, others struggling to make it to 5km. We all had one common ground: we enjoyed running.
The experienced runners mentor the inexperienced, the beginners share their successes and everyone is supportive and encouraging. We chat regularly, we share our running statistics, and we discuss everything from shoes to physio recommendations to food.
I found myself waking up to my alarm (4:30 AM!) excited meet my running network. I even found myself running to get to my running network (those extra kilometers count when you are competitive!) and here I am, calling myself a runner, surrounded by a network of runners who are helping me achieve my goals.
So how is my running network different from a recruitment network?
Aligning yourself with a network of professionals, especially those in the same field as you will make you stronger.
Being part of a professional network you share common ground with those around you; your specialty, your business, your goals are all in tune with one another.
Being part of a recruitment network allows you to learn from the more experienced or mentor the less experienced, gain value from industry recommendations and discover market knowledge that you might not have discovered otherwise.
Being part of a professional network offers you the ability to connect with like-minded people. It adds some healthy / friendly competition to your independent business. You share your successes and vent your frustrations. People in your network have no doubt experienced similar to you and share an understanding.
Being part of a recruitment network can open doors, opportunities, and introductions to areas of your business that you haven’t even thought of yet.
In 2016 and the age of social media, it is not hard or time consuming to belong to a recruitment network. Many networking groups meet via teleconference or Skype for a quick round table discussion, all without leaving the office. Others meet before business starts or the more traditional (and fun!) drinks after work. I have attended 2 networking meetings already this week: all competitors, all sharing ideas, and all benefiting from a 30-minute phone call. I have another 2 scheduled for next week.
If you are not part of a professional network already, ask yourself why not? And then look out for industry-specific networking groups for you to join, you won’t regret it.