Why networking matters, by Sophia Koniarska

Sophia Koniarska, OA Regional Business Development Manager (West), explains why you need to network effectively.

Lifestyle not diet
Increasingly people find work through networking, so it is vital you master this skill. Networking is a great way to gain knowledge, meet interesting people and find opportunities.

People can be quite negative about networking, often confusing it with schmoozing. Networking is not about making as many connections as possible; boasting about your achievements or taking advantage of people willing to share their expertise. If you believe these misconceptions, then networking will be a chore and a negative experience. You are also less likely to succeed, because people respond better to enthusiasm and helpfulness.

I think networking is more about an attitude rather than a process. Someone once described it to me as a “lifestyle not a diet”. The best opportunities and connections usually arise when you approach networking with an open mind, willing to give as much as you take.

Case studies
Click the links below to discover how former officers network effectively in their new careers.

“Have a plan when building your networks”, by Anna-Marie Watson

“Overcome that fear of nobody wanting to talk to you”, by Helen Birchall

“Making your Network Work For You”, by Dougie Lord

Attend our networking events
Book your place on one of our networking workshops. Learn from the experts, and practise your networking skills in a friendly, informal environment.

Wednesday 11th October 2017 – University of the West of England – Bristol
We have partnered with the University of the West of England, as part of its annual Bristol Distinguished Address Series. The workshop is exclusively for OA members, and afterwards Sacha Romanovitch, CEO of Grant Thornton, will give a talk.

Wednesday 22nd November 2017 – Yeo Valley – Bristol
We have partnered with the Leaders Club to deliver a fascinating talk from the prominent South West business leader, Karl Tucker, Managing Director of Yeo Valley.

Register with the OA
To access all of our services register with the OA for free.