Working in skilled trades may not seem like an industry where networking is of great importance. However, networking plays a powerful role in this area as it can lead to job opportunities, partnerships, mentorship relationships, and much more.
Networking in skilled trades is defined as establishing and maintaining a network of relationships with other professionals in the industry. A network of connections can transform your career and present business opportunities that would have been difficult to achieve without connections.
In this article, we will explore the power of networking in skilled trades and how it can transform your career.
Networking transform job opportunities
The most apparent benefit of networking in the skilled trades is access to job opportunities. This industry relies heavily on referrals; that is, employers give priority to hiring someone who has been recommended by a trusted peer. Networking creates these relationships, and the more connections you have, the higher the chance you may be recommended for a job.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), over half of job openings for skilled trades go unfulfilled each year. Joining a trade association, attending industry conferences, or connecting with fellow professionals are all great ways to increase your chances of landing a job.
Networking builds partnerships
Networking can also help create partnerships with other professionals in the industry. You can partner on projects or collaborate on services to provide mutual value. Building mutually beneficial relationships can help you reach a larger customer base, share best practices, and generate more revenue.
According to the SCORE Association, small businesses in particular benefit from partnerships. 33% of small businesses consider partnerships the best way to generate revenue, and joint ventures are essential to growth and profitability.
Networking for mentorship and guidance
Networking can also help you establish mentorship relationships with professionals in your industry. These relationships are invaluable, as your mentor can share their industry expertise and help you navigate the many learning curves of working in the skilled trades. Sometimes, a single piece of advice from a mentor can help you overcome an obstacle and leap ahead in your career. They can share essential tips on avoiding mistakes, building a career path, and growing your business.
According to the Harvard Business Review, successful mentorship relationships are built on mutual trust and respect. They help establish a strong foundation for growth and improvement over time.
Networking builds professional reputation
Networking is an excellent way to increase your professional reputation. By attending industry conferences, participating in trade shows and writing on industry blogs or other channels, you can establish yourself as an authority in your field. As you share knowledge and expertise with others, you help increase your visibility, and create the potential for consultations, speaking opportunities, and media coverage.
According to Entrepreneur, business owners and professionals build their reputation by consistently attending industry events and building a positive presence therein.
Networking and personal growth
Networking also has the power to support personal growth. Ultimately, we all seek to advance in our careers, but it can be difficult to identify what you need to learn to get to the next level. By networking, you connect with others who have already walked the path you look to follow.
Associating with successful people or industry leaders can help you expand your skillset, develop key competencies, and acquire new tools or resources. By speaking and sharing knowledge with others, you challenge yourself to think more critically, develop new ideas or approaches, and focus on the skills you need to succeed.
In conclusion, networking is essential in today’s business world, and this is no different in skilled trades. Making connections helps bring new clients and better job opportunities, helps create partnerships that create opportunities for mutual gain, supports personal growth, as well as building a strong professional reputation. And, who doesn’t want that? Whether you’re looking to kickstart your career or take your current career to the next level, networking can help you get there.