Meeting and networking among your peers is a great way to grow your professional circle, gain resources, knowledge and influence others with shared experiences. There are so many ways that groups and organizations can host these types of events, and what better way to get the new year started right, than to join up virtually or in person with a group of peers to network?
We believe in the power of peer networking, which is why our ACE Peer Learning Network™ group exists for Executive Assistants who value the connection that can only be experienced in a group of peers. Still not convinced? Take a look at these Top 6 Benefits for Peer Networking.
Stronger Business Connections
Being able to meet consistently with a group of peers will allow you to find opportunities to assist them, strengthening your relationship. Something people don’t often realize is that networking is about sharing, not taking. Making assistance and serving your main goal in a networking group helps to create trust and loyalty. By doing this, you sow the seeds for reciprocal assistance when you need help to achieve your goals.
What better way to brainstorm ideas, challenges and offer solutions, than with a group of like-minded people? When you are among your peers, they understand your goals, opportunities, frustrations, etc. Networking allows everyone to exchange information and gain new insight.
One of the immediate benefits of networking within a peer group, is if you’re struggling with a decision, challenge or new direction, calling up a trusted peer member or sharing with your group can be beneficial to everyone, and in turn think of you when next they have a challenge.
Become More Visible
The more you meet and engage, the more familiar you will become in those circles. Getting noticed is key to career building, so not only should you get involved, but also offer ideas and participate in conversations. Create value for other attendees by listening carefully, following up on conversations, remembering names, and offering your knowledge and expertise.
Access to New Opportunities
You never know what opportunities are right around the bend – a person in your group could be moving or switching career paths, leaving an opening for a role that would be difficult to obtain otherwise. If you are known and respected in your group, it makes getting your foot in the door a much easier task.
Don’t forget that many jobs don’t even get advertised – particularly as your career advances – so being a recognized part of networks is a key way to gain access to opportunities that you might not have otherwise.
The opportunity to gather new information is an often-overlooked benefit of networking, as it’s not the most obvious one, but it also offers career progression and development.
It’s a good idea to actively ask your contacts about developments and techniques, but also to keep an eye on what kinds of articles your contacts are sharing on LinkedIn – don’t forget to comment to let them know that you’ve appreciated the piece. And don’t discount the insights of people from other industries – they may be able to offer new angles you hadn’t previously considered.
Within peer networking groups, there are all levels of expertise and each one has something to offer. Newer hires have the excitement of coming on to a new role, they are eager to learn new technologies and everything is fresh and new – it’s good to be reminded of that energy if you’ve been in your company for a while.
Seasoned professionals can offer advice that only something in their position can give. They’ve been through all the scenarios, dealt with multitudes of attitudes and circumstances, and they have a unique perspective when it comes to making a relationship with an Executive a productive one.
Through your peer networking groups, you will build confidence, gain perspective and develop long lasting relationships. Perhaps you will even discover the job you’ve always been wanting. For these and so many other reasons, it’s beneficial for any Executive Assistant to find a networking tribe (or several) of their own.
Want to learn more about what a peer networking group can do to benefit you? Visit our website or give us a call!