You hear this famous saying often, “It is not what you know, but who know.” Yet, when individuals think about wealth, thoughts such as money, investments, and property come to mind. Rarely do people consider their network as a source of developing wealth. However, typically our relationships with people are how we become exposed to opportunities to join communities, companies, and boards that provide us with financial gain.
Here are 3 reasons why you should consider your network as a potential way to increase your net worth:
1. Referrals/ Recommendations
Recommendations are almost always required to join a company or educational institution. Having a community that knows who you are and is able to speak to your work can be a great gateway to opportunities that you may not have otherwise been considered for. According to a PayScale Study, 85% of jobs in companies are filled through an internal referral and 70% of those positions are never posted online! Therefore, expanding your network increases your chances of being selected and hired for employment opportunities.
2. Gain Expertise without Official Training
While there are many pipelines for individuals to develop their expertise in an industry such as apprenticeships and internships, people who have an inter-disciplinary network have the advantage of gaining direct insight from colleagues without going through formal processes. The knowledge and insight gained from your network, can potentially equip you with the tools you need to start a new project, get promoted, or launch your own business. Hence, expanding your network can provide you with professional development without the hassle of formal training.
3. Receive Sponsorship, Donations, Investments
If you are in a relationship based business like my role as a Business Development Associate, then you know sponsorship, donations, and investments are one of the biggest assets that keeps businesses profitable and afloat. Having a network of individuals that is interested in your work and supporting your business can potentially elicit additions funds or sponsorship to sustain or expand your company. It also can be one less resource you have to pay or search for. For this reason, expanding your networks can allow you access to more financial opportunities.
Chanise Simms-Robinson, MSW