By: Amy Goodman

Sometimes referred to as a “necessary evil”, networking may present dilemmas from time to time for professional marketers. On one hand, you get to leave the office for a couple hours! On the other hand, if you do it too much, you risk giving off the impression that you’re looking to leave your employer, or you just happen to always (conveniently) be out of the office. Especially if you are earlier in your career, you want to get out and meet new people in your profession, be inspired, and gain advice, but getting out of the office may seem like an earned luxury once you pay your dues for a few years.

I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to network–and you should–no matter the stage of your career. Below are 10 reasons why it’s worth getting out when you can:

  1. Gain exposure for yourself, your brand, and your employer
    Can getting in front of decisions makers help you grow personally or professionally? Then this is the number one reason why you should get involved. Craft your networking activities so that you end up being the face of your organization. It will help you expand your footprint for yourself, the brand you represent and your employer. Should be a win-win-win for all sides!
  2. Meet people in your field
    Do you ever wonder about something in marketing but aren’t sure where to find the answer outside of Googling? AMA is a great way to meet local experts and get national attention from outside speakers
  3. Stay Current
    If you’re a student of the game and yearn for knowledge, attending events can help you stay current on the latest trends of the industry. AMA will bring relevant and thought-provoking speakers, topics and happy hours for you to learn more about what’s going on today. If you don’t have time to constantly read articles – this is a great way to get up to date information without all of the searching.
  4. Advance your career
    Are you on the cusp of the next opportunity, but don’t know where to start? You could meet your next potential employer at these events. Hiring managers as well as potential employees meet in a non-threatening environment to get to know each other. It’s a great way to see how employers and employees interact with each other and some knowledge you can’t always get from an interview. If a potential employer is at an AMA event, there’s an even better chance they’ll want you to continue your membership and activity!
  5. Volunteer
    Expand your resume, expand your reach and expand your knowledge. Are you interested in expanding you knowledge of social media, but someone else handles that for your company? Then volunteering through AMA would be a great way to get your feet wet. You’ll not only expand into new areas of expertise, but have the opportunity to network with over 100 current volunteers in Cincinnati.
  6. Develop leadership skills
    When I was right out of college and in my first roles professionally, I wasn’t sure how I could further develop leadership skills. Fortunately, through volunteering in groups, I was able to expand my leadership skills and when the time came at my company where the next leadership role was available, I was ready!
  7. Find new business opportunities
    If you have an entrepreneurial mind, then networking is a great way to get in front of business leaders and tell them about your personal and professional brand. People buy from people, not always companies. If you build a strong relationship with someone through these events, you’ll be that much more likely to get the call when the need arises.
  8. Find a mentor
    Networking events are a great way to find a mentor in your field, but outside of your office. Mentors can help you push the envelope on your career with an unbiased perspective. Successful people are willing to share their knowledge as long as you’re willing to listen!
  9. Find inspiration
    Have you felt like you’re in a professional rut recently, or just need to hear new ideas? Events are a great way to learn new things, be reinvigorated by outside thoughts and bring exciting new ideas back to your company. What leader at a company wouldn’t want to hear something that could turn around a rough spot?
  10. Make new friends and reconnect with old
    If you’re new to Cincinnati, new to marketing or have been out of the loop for a bit because you’ve been too busy–this is a great way to make new friends or rekindle those old connections. How can you beat meeting our 450+ members at our different events?

About Amy Goodman
Amy Goodman is the Division Director for The Creative Group, a division of Robert Half, which provides specialized talent in marketing, creative, digital, advertising and PR. Amy has worked with a variety of businesses in her tenure with Robert Half, from SMB to Fortune 500, as well as agency and corporate clients. You can find her supporting AMA through her role as the VP of Talent Management. If you’d like to get involved, contact her today