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Why Networking is Important

16 September 2015 |

The City is a small place and networking is a useful and important skill to develop if you are planning to embark upon a City career. Your network should not only be comprised of people working in the same office as you. Consider the fact that some of your friends, school and university colleagues, family members and friends of family members will work at different firms and in other industries that are still very relevant to your chosen firm/career. For instance, bankers, lawyers, accountants, consultants, corporations and government officials regularly work together on deals, as do those working in your firm"s international offices.

How can networking benefit you?

People within your network (or people you meet through networking) may be able to provide advice about a range of different careers based on their own experiences. They may help you to secure work experience or assist you with writing applications and preparing for interviews. They can help you to make informed decisions, for instance when deciding which firm to choose if you are lucky enough to receive multiple offers) and provide general advice relating to your training and the work that you will be set once you start.

More importantly, it is likely that you will end up working with or for people within your network throughout your career and networking from an early stage can help to ensure that you have the best possible working relationships with future colleagues. Working with or for someone with whom you have already built a relationship may be more enjoyable and effective than working with someone with whom you have not yet had the opportunity to build a rapport. Accumulating a large network of contacts is likely to be very beneficial. People within your network are arguably more likely to make reasonable concessions (i.e. if they are working on the opposite side of a deal) and work with you efficiently to get the job done. Moreover, as you progress into more senior positions, you will rely on your network to attract new work and clients into the firm. If you have proved yourself to people and built up solid relationships, these people are in turn more likely to want to work with you in the future (rather than people they do not know from other firms).

If you decide to pursue a career change – either to join a different office within your firm"s global network of offices, a different firm within the same industry, or a different type of firm altogether – your networks may be essential in helping you to discover the opportunities available and to get a foot in the door. Doing a good job for and keeping in touch with clients and colleagues you have worked with can help you to do this. The longer your history with these people stretches back, the more likely it is that they will be willing to help you out (assuming you have consistently left a strong impression). Accordingly, try to network from the earliest possible stage.

This article is from the City Career Series: Application, Interview & Internship Handbook, which offers a range of hints and tips designed to help guide you through the recruitment process for a range of City careers.