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“Networking Coffee” Is The Trend – An Efficient Approach For Networking At Workplace

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Power Of Networking

Networking is one of the most spoken terms in our work environments. Networking At workplace is not something that is relevant only to IT-based firms but for every available business. It resides everywhere. Starting from a bus stop, tea shop to all manufacturing and software companies.

networking at workplace

Image Credit: Pixabay

Luckily most of us very well know about the importance of networking at workplace. But, how many of us do networking at workplace is a question for which most of us have got a smile on our lips and nothing else as an answer.

The Rags to Riches Milestone:

The role and the importance of networking at workplace is something that can be understood if we go through some of the rags to riches stories.

Yeah, I am referring to the personalities who had moved from homeless to great heights with a strong backing of networking at the workplace and sometimes with no place to work. A google on rags to riches examples will give us a good number of search results. The results with great motivating stories that had happened around us.

Most of those stories will for sure trigger our brain chemicals for the good. If we look a bit closer on most of the rags to riches stories we can find networking at workplace as one of the vital ingredients of their success.

For example, the story of Mrs. Patricia Narayan who had started a food cart at the shores of Marina beach and now the CEO of Sandheepa Group of Restaurants in Chennai.

Networking Types:

Yes, the term Networking is something owned by the line of computers. But, the LAN, WAN, PAN, VLAN etc. does not play a role when it comes to Human.

networking at workplace

Image Credit: Pixabay

Networking in human is categorized into two types.

  1. Social Networking
  2. Professional Networking

The best example of the Social Networking is our activities on the websites like Meetup, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace etc.

Websites like Linkedin, Career Network, Xing, Doostang, Branchout etc. fall under the professional networking category.

But, both the two mentioned above category is something that helps us connect with people virtually at least at the initial stages. They are good but not great as they are less efficient when compared to networking at workplace. In other words, they cannot compete connecting with someone via physical presence.

Networking At Workplace Is Not Confined To One’s Desk:

Most of the organizations we work on reiterate the importance of networking at workplace nowadays. The major reason behind that is the benefits they bring in for an individual as well as for an organization.

networking at workplace

Image Credit: Pixabay

Some of the firms do conduct Toast Master sessions where candidates from different projects gather and speak. Though the main motto of Toast Master session is to get rid of stage fear while speaking in front of the public it also opens up a lot of possibilities for networking at workplace.

Networking at workplace does not mean that the connection should happen inside a confined room with four walls. The term networking at workplace has evolved and still evolving in-line with the latest trends.

There was a time when people use to connect with their counterparts in hotels and convention centers to discuss their portfolios. But, that is no longer the case.

What Is Coffee Networking?

Let me place a scenario by introducing two characters in this section.

Character Names: A and B
Role Of A At Work: Practice Lead
Role Of B At Work: A candidate with mid-level experience
Place: Company C

Character A is somebody who is with the company for more than 10 years. A person with rich experience in technology, people management etc.

As a four to five years experienced employee of the firm, character B does his job at his best. A hard as well as a smart worker based on the situation.
Character B for whom character A is a big name, a very familiar person but that is not the case with Character A.

Up in the professional ladder character A never got a chance to have a chat with character B.

Now, character B would like to introduce himself to A and learn from him and wanted A to be his mentor for his career growth.

Character B initiates the conversation via an email requesting A’s availability for a chat preferably at the time when A takes a break. A chat over a cup of coffee. Here character B do not waste character A’s valuable time and at the same time use his time wisely. This is one way of Coffee Networking.

networking at workplace

A Lot Can Happen Over Coffee:

A very familiar saying for most of us. The quote of Cafe Coffee Day. Like how networking at workplace is not confined to one’s desk, it need not be a very formal chat with a specific beverage always either.

Please remember, networking at workplace do not just refer the professional connection with your own leads and subordinates but it is more than that. An individual’s network can be from any department, with any role and job description.

The crux of networking is to connect with others for the personal as well as professional growth.Never forget that everyone in this world is gifted in one or the other way. We will not know who will come to our rescue when we are looking for help.

Why Coffee?

The simple answer is that Caffeine increases the energy levels in the brain. Leading to increased focus, enhanced memory, creativity etc. But, it again depends on every individual’s interest.

Benefits Of Networking At Workplace:

Though, most of us very well know about the benefits of networking at workplace. Let me take this moment to help ourselves refresh.

networking at workplace

Image Credit: Pixabay

Networking at workplace helps…

  • To get out of our comfort zone and start a discussion with someone
  • Gain knowledge in many areas
  • Look at an issue in many perspectives
  • Career growth
  • Gauge a situation better
  • Grow business
  • Build long-lasting friendship/relationship
  • Find a right job when required and more…

What Not To Do While Networking At Workplace?

  • Do not take other’s valuable time for granted. You might be free but that may not be the case for the other party.
  • Understand the meaning of Networking. You need not speak every day/week but a “Hi” once in a month gives a good feel for the parties involved.
  • Use your networking at workplace for the benefit of yourselves and others.
  • Avoid utilizing your connections to degrade and hurt others. Never forget the term “Professional Ethics”.
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