There’s no denying that a strong professional network can have an incredible impact over your career success. Networking will help you develop and improve your skill set and stay on top of the latest trends in your industry and job market. The world of business travel is similar to many other industries in that it is all about connections and who you know! These connections often make the difference in your influence within your industry, your organization, and your personal life.
Recently, we were able to catch up with a Fox client, Gena Miller, Purchasing Manager at Menasha Corporation, on the importance networking has played in both her personal and professional life. Below Gena shares her story of how networking has made a pivotal impact on her.
“Throughout my college years, I took many core classes to help me get started in my business career path after graduation. One of the key skills I had to acquire on my own was the art of Networking. The importance of this skill is realized daily with the relationships I have built with colleagues, suppliers, and key stakeholders. Learning to interact with a diverse group of people that have many diverse backgrounds has proved to be the secret sauce of success. During Covid, I reconnected with someone in my network who referred me for a new opportunity they felt I would be a great fit for. After 20 years with my former employer, transitioning to a new company during COVID has been an eye-opening experience. I have had to reenergize my networking skills. The same tactics apply, except now in a virtual landscape via Zoom or Microsoft Teams, I have had to pivot and adjust my networking skills. I had to turn on my listening ears, so I could learn about a new culture, new company, and new team dynamic. Even though I had knowledge and expertise to share and input to provide during the meetings I participated in, I first wanted to observe, take in the discussion, and understand the business needs being presented. Building strong relationships is not always about being the loudest one in the room. It is also important to keep your eyes open. Connecting on a personal level with someone is the key to starting a relationship. Each time I was introduced to a new team member on Zoom, I would look behind them to see what may be on their desk. Pictures of family members, sports teams they favored, or a Starbucks coffee were all things I could spark a conversation about. Knowing and networking with your internal customers can build relationships that help you move forward in your career.”
Although the business landscape has transformed tremendously in the last two years, it is apparent that networking skills remain vital for success. Networking looks different today than it did 20 years ago (or even two years ago), and your networking process should consistently be evolving. If you are looking to expand your network, connect with us on LinkedIn or Twitter.
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