The value of networking

Amarjit Singh, UK

Why do you network?

Networking is immensely valuable and I don’t think people always appreciate this, in at least in the Financial Services industry, is a very connected place - everyone knows everyone! What I would also say is that I’m someone who doesn’t believe in doing networking for the sake of networking. I’m very much a person who believes that I like to get to know people and I enjoy spending time with people.

What advice or top tip would you give for networking more efficiently?

Authenticity and credibility are key. I recently came across a scientific study about how we’re able to spot somebody who is being unauthentic very quickly. So, if you’re networking for the sake of networking, your authenticity, or lack thereof, will come across straightaway. So why engage in forced networking?

I’m a firm believer that you’ve got to have some currency - I would never want to be seen as ‘content-free’. If people ask me about a topic that I specialise in I’ll freely talk about it. But if they ask me about something which I don’t know much about I would be honest and find somebody to put them in touch with. And to me, personally, I think that’s what gives you credibility in the market.

When we talk about networking, credibility and respect are interlinked. If you engage in lots of networking but have zero credibility, it really defeats the purpose. Sadly you do see a lot of people like this! It’s just not effective networking. People will just start to think ‘oh all he wants to do is add me to his LinkedIn profile, all she wants to do is keep a collection of business cards’…that’s not the right way to network!

Are you part of any networks?

I chair the EY Sikh Network and I’ve been very lucky that I have a good bunch of talented and hard-working people who really support it. Our first flagship event was hosting the Turbanology exhibition and having Vince Cable (who was Minister at the time) coming in to talk about the contribution of Sikhs to the UK economy.  This was all featured in an interview I had on Radio 5.  We only managed to start with such a bang as a result of the great networking by the team who helped build the network from scratch

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