Creating a Network
Updated: Aug 7
Seven Insights I've Learnt This Year After Joining Several Women's Networking Groups
Networking Lunch at @Equals, Amsterdam
Building a network, whether it’s personal or professional has benefits for individuals and organisations. Networks support each other, share knowledge, invite collaboration, and engage in professional development, while also helping you attract more clients, recommend you to their clients or invite a collaboration.
At the end of 2022, I’d maxed out of working from home and I wanted to be around like-minded individuals. Someone to bounce ideas off, proofread occasional copy, discuss client pitches and grab a coffee or lunch with. I decided co-working was the way to go, my personal networks worked well, I missed the professional network I’d grown up with within the big box organisation now I was a solo-preneur.
Over the last six months, I’ve realised:
1. Nurturing Relationships:
Is fundamental to building a network, relationships take time to build and it’s not a one-click add you to my network It’s cultivating the relationship, listening, understanding, being curious about another’s field of expertise, looking for the similarities, acknowledging the differences and shared experiences together. Having regular check-ins and conversations and staying connected to know what's of importance to your connection.
2. Expanding Opportunities:
Connecting with individuals from different backgrounds and industries you expand your industry knowledge and professional awareness. This increases your chances of partnerships and collaborations or mentorship that might not have normally come your way.
“Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives."- Brené Brown.
3. Empowering connections:
You lift each other up, support each others work, inspire each other and offer a different perspective from outside of their industry. Together you can overcome challenges through empowering each other and perhaps identifying a blind spot.
4. Professional Development:
Engaging and participating in workshops and masterclasses within your network strengthens the bond between you while acquiring new skills and having access to resources that were not always available.
5. Intergenerational Collaboration:
From experience, the entrepreneurial journey is not fixed on one generation. People choose to work for themselves at various life stages. Age is not a barrier, it's open to all. The challenges are similar, regardless of age, discussing this with older and younger peers is enlightening to hear another's perspective with 20 years more or less experience than you.
6. Community Building:
Building a network among women fosters a sense of community, solidarity, and collaboration. By coming together, you can support each other's initiatives, share resources, and advocate for gender equality and women's empowerment in your respective industries.
7. Sharing Reliability:
Finally, networking enables you to give back to others*. Help jump-start someone's career or personal growth with coaching and mentorship. Inspire another to take a risk. This helps build your professional reputation as a reliable professional in your community. Plus, be the person you needed when you were starting out.
*dependent on your years of experience.
Curious to know more about Women's Networking groups in Amsterdam? Connect with me here on LinkedIn to continue the conversation.
*I'm not an affiliate of Equals Amsterdam or spokesperson, it's my home-base of Networking.