Importance of Networking and Making Positive Connections - Sarah Dodds-Brown

Networking and making positive connections are the essential keys to creating opportunities for yourself in the workplace. Expanding your network helps connect you with people at various professional levels who could help you advance your career. Exchanging ideas, advice, and support from your networking connections allows you to gain new insights. You can then leverage this new information to help boost your professional confidence. Overall, building your network provides you with invaluable social skills that you could take anywhere you go — work, school, personal life, etc.

In the video, Importance of Networking and Making Positive Connections, I discuss the significance and benefits these skills can provide you on the board.

“Networking is super important. How I even came to know about the Direct Women Board Institute really came from my network. And the two board opportunities that I considered both came from personal networks, not necessarily from search firms. So making sure that your network is aware of your interests and understands the kind of experiences you have and the value that you would bring to a corporate board setting is really important. These are the people that oftentimes will wind up thinking of you in the context of board seats or opportunities that they may hear about.

Also important on the network are the people who you’ve worked with in different contexts because you never know how the reference checks will go, including the informal reference checks. Knowing people who know you and know that you will be a constructive participant in the board room and a good collegial person that people will want to engage with and who will have credibility is really important. It is a dimension that is an intangible that oftentimes people don’t think about when they’re thinking about interviewing for a board opportunity. There’s a lot of conversation behind the scenes about how this person is going to fit with the existing composition of the board — in terms of the culture and the relationship with management.”

Building your network will help you grow more and make long-lasting connections. You never know when you might need to search for a new position and your network is something you can refer to in efforts to help you achieve your career goals.

You can watch the full video here.

About Sarah Dodds-Brown: Sarah is a legal strategist who uses her field of expertise to influence business. She strives to thoughtfully challenge status quo thinking and widen the pipeline of professional talent to include more diverse and underrepresented candidates. Currently, she works as the Executive Vice President & Managing Counsel for Global Enterprise Services & U.S. Market at American Express.

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