First steps into networking

We’ve all been told that building our own ‘brand’ is important for our own personal career development. The majority of us view building our ‘personal brand’ as low priority and fail to invest enough time and effort into developing this. Working in recruitment, I already develop my brand as a result of the number of candidates I place and the service I give to my clients, therefore, I didn’t think it needed to be developed further. Several networking events were offered to me and for a long time I avoided attending these. So, why did I do this? Honestly, the fear of the unknown got the better of me. Going to an event by myself where I knew no one was completely out-with my comfort zone and I’d no idea what to expect! What would happen if no-one would chat to me!


I finally booked my first event, “Personal brand including negotiating & influencing for women leaders – women don’t ask”. This I thought was a perfect start! One of the speakers talked about how we can improve our own personal and professional profile and how this can be one of the most powerful elements of our own brand. It all started to make sense. I came out feeling motivated, I learnt a lot from this event and took a lot of what the speaker said on board. Since attending this event I’ve regularly put myself in positions I never would have previously, pushing myself out my comfort zone and have built personal and professional relationships with people that would never have crossed my path otherwise.


Networking events are now something I enjoy, regularly attend and would recommend to everyone. Initially I was put off as I thought it would only be a room full of senior stakeholders that were daunting to speak to. Why would they take time to speak to me? I couldn’t have been more wrong, it was a room full of like-minded individuals who are also looking to build their own brand, networks and relationships. Each individual genuinely interested in building rapport not only a professional, but also a personal level.


Sarah’s top five reasons I believe we should all attend networking events:


  1. To get out of your ‘comfort zone’
  2. To build new relationships
  3. Be motivated/inspired
  4. To socialise
  5. To Build your own brand


Don’t get me wrong, the idea of networking is a daunting thought at first, but once I was over the first hurdle, I really began to enjoy the events and have realised the benefits of attending. If you’ve not tried a networking event before why don’t you find out for yourself? I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.


You can get in touch with Sarah Hutchinson to network, have a chat, or simply find out more about tapping into her network within the interim and contract market across the investment and financial services sectors in Scotland. 0131 297 2701