If you live in a rural area, you may wonder what the benefit of building a professional network may be. Although you may initially see your networking options as limited, there are numerous benefits of networking, and ways to do it.
Having a professional network in a rural area means you are much more likely to hear about job opportunities and, even more importantly, be recommended to the hirer by someone in your network. As many of us in rural areas know, who you know can open many doors and having a strong professional network can help you in a job search and in making important career moves.
A personal recommendation from someone in your professional network is likely to advance you straight through to the interview stage or even further. If someone like a former colleague, a business mentor, or a professional peer can vouch for the work you’ve done in the past and show their faith in you as a person, this could immediately make you the frontrunner for the position.
To continue to explain the value of building a professional network in a rural economy, we’ve listed out 7 additional reasons.
7 Reasons Why Professional Networks are so Important in Rural Communities:
It builds community by establishing new friendships, mentors, and business partnerships, as well as strengthening existing ones.
It’s no secret that we can often go farther with the help of others. Whether it’s having a network to learn from, to assist in your growth within an industry, or to simply have like-minded individuals to reach out to, a professional network is the place you can find all of these things.
It provides education and mentoring opportunities.
There are many lessons to be learned from the experience of someone more established. Being able to learn and receive guidance from someone who has been where you are, or has experience in an industry you’d like to grow within, is a very valuable resource that can come from having a professional network.
It provides sources of information, knowledge and skills
Many professional networks offer educational services to help you establish new skills, aid in your growth, or provide resources to explore. This will help you move much faster and gain the experience or skills required to grow in your chosen direction, versus if you try to learn it all on your own, on your own time.
It can bring together specific groups with shared interests and concerns.
There is a quote by Ryunosuke Satoro that says “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” When we are surrounded by a group of like-minded individuals, whether it’s for a hobby, a cause, or a professional interest, we not only can do so much more together, but our time is often spent feeling more fulfilled as well.
It gives business owners and professionals a place for peer-to-peer discussion, which often results in innovative production and marketing strategies.
Business can feel like a lonely place sometimes. Growing your peer network allows you the opportunity to share in each other’s successes, and learn from other’s experiences.
It provides an effective way for collaboration, partnership, and the increase of success of local businesses and professionals.
Whether you’re looking for a partnership, a collaborative effort on a project, or simply learning from someone who has been there before you, there is often a stronger success rate when you collaborate on projects or local growth ideas with others, especially if they too have their own professional network.
Research suggests that when business owners and professionals convene, new opportunities arise for increased economic viability, improved quality of life, and greater community interaction
Rural communities rely on local businesses and professionals. A professional network can help keep the communities thriving though development, collaboration, and creating a space that keeps residents within the community and attracts new ones to build a life there as well.
As you can see, there are many valuable benefits of having a professional network in a rural economy. If you haven’t yet started building your network, or need some assistance for networking, we are happy to help you get established.
Think you could benefit from this kind of network? We know you could. Get connected today!
The Connector Program is a nationally recognized best practice that matches newcomers and recent graduates (Connectees) with established business and community leaders (Connectors).
35 Commercial St., Suite 208
Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada
The Northern Connector Program is based out of the Truro & Colchester Partnership for Economic Prosperity office in Truro but also maintains multiple meeting spaces in Amherst and New Glasgow.