Networking – a vital part of your training

While the primary objective of additional training is to expand your knowledge base and to learn new skills, there is a secondary and equally vital aspect of the process that is often overlooked – networking.

Training offers candidates the chance to meet their peers within an environment that promotes a common goal, immediately giving everyone involved a ‘jumping off point’ for developing new contacts and relationships. Those brief coffee breaks and lunch breaks can be just as important on a training course for social networking opportunities as the training delivered in the classroom.

Learning from other people’s experience

Training with a group of your peers gives you the opportunity to learn from other peoples’ experiences. This ‘real life’ context can give the training being delivered greater meaning and depth, as well as giving it a more personal resonance with the trainees. While learning in a classroom is an excellent way of acquiring new skills, listening to other people’s personal experiences and how the training relates to real life situations can make aspects that may not be as easy to grasp more accessible and easier to understand.

This wealth of personal experience is an important part of the learning process and gives a good training course a real boost, particularly for those who may be new to the subject.

Future contacts

Networking at training courses also helps trainees to build up a network of future contacts who have all had the same experiences and training and who have the same goals and objectives as yourself. This networking process is now becoming more popular and an important part of business life, as it offers everyone a chance to exchange information and develop new ways of working that they may otherwise be unaware of.

It also gives you a chance to promote your own expertise, particularly if you have experience in a particular field of law, for example. If your expertise lies in injury compensation claims, you may find that contacts you have made through training courses seek you out later on for your advice on matters that they know you have the experience and expertise to advise them on. It also works the other way around too – if you encounter an aspect of law that you have little experience in but you ‘know someone who does know about it’, you will be in a position to call on their expertise as well.

Career advancement

Social networking can also be a useful step towards career advancement. The old adage ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ still holds true and while professionalism and expertise are primary concerns, your contacts list from a training course can provide you with some great opportunities for career advancement should you decide to start looking for a new position. Training courses shouldn’t be used purely as an opportunity to job hunt. But if you are unhappy in your present position, networking at a training course lets prospective colleagues see you in a real environment that is far more of an accurate portrayal of your abilities than a standard job interview.

So next time you attend a training course, remember to take advantage of all the opportunities that arise – both through utilising the training course itself to learn new skills, and to network with your peers. You may be surprised how many doors it can open and how much you can learn simply by listening to the experiences of those around you.

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