Just like most other industries, networking plays a huge part in how business gets done. If you are looking to grow your network in the agriculture industry, it can seem like a challenge to connect with potential competitors in the field. But partnerships and professional networks are a win-win for everyone at the table. Here are several ways you can quickly grow your network in the coming months.
Think Outside the Networking Box
Networking opportunities aren’t limited to professional organization meetings, corporate mixers, or networking groups. Far from it, in fact. Networking opportunities can occur in just about any situation. The trick is to place yourself in the path of other professionals who might turn out to be a good connection. Do you work out at a gym close to the office? Rather choosing a solo activity, consider joining a class. Chances are your classmates will also be professionals working nearby. Having the chance to interact and build friendships with other professionals in a more relaxed atmosphere helps to take the pressure off, but can still result in some high-quality professional connections.
Get Out in Your Community
Professional organizations are a great resource for building your network. But community organizations can also be a great resource for making connections. We really can each benefit from meeting and engaging with people from different backgrounds and areas of expertise. You should focus on sharing your expertise to build your network. And keep in mind that every connection you make is the addition of another professional contact to your own network, resulting in exponential growth which can really pay off.
Rather than building a professional network from scratch, look into joining a professional society or organization relevant to your field to help connect with people who share your interests. Many people (both introverts and extroverts alike) rely on these organizations for networking opportunities and professional connections. Being around other people who share your profession, interests, or skills can help put introverts at ease. Just think, the chances of having something to talk about with someone you’ve met at a professional organization are much better than other events. Do a little research to see what societies are most relevant to you.
Find Your Comfort Zone, Then Go Beyond It
Practice makes perfect, and your networking skills will develop with practice and confidence. So finding the opportunities and topics that make you most comfortable will help you make high quality connections with other professionals more naturally. Start small with networking opportunities that are more comfortable for introverts; lunches or classes are a great place to start. Once you have the hang of networking in more casual formats, you can branch out into larger and more challenging networking opportunities. Eventually, everyone needs to push the boundaries of their comfort zone. Only then will you be able to grow.
Ready to grow your network?
For more advice on growing your professional network, start with a call to the industry experts at Ag 1 Source today.