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Feel like you’re at a crossroads? Ellevate 101 introduces you to the community that can give you a career kickstart.

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Benefits of Networking Outside of Your Company

 Benefits of Networking Outside of Your Company

It's no surprise that networking is the number one unwritten rule of success. Eighty-five percent of jobs are now found through networking, however the benefits of going to that mingle or meet-up outside of your company walls extend far beyond landing a new job.

In order to develop in your career, you need to make a commitment to step out of your comfort zone and engage with a community separate from your company or industry. No, you’re not cheating on your company. They will thank you, and here's why.

It Expands Your Perspectives 

Women are known to be lifelong learners. It’s a unique quality we bring to the workplace and there’s a wealth of knowledge to be learned from those that are different from you. Building a diverse network gives you access to difference of opinion, insights, and advice. Take these differences of opinion, apply them to a project, issue or obstacle in the office, and you’ll be able to make decisions based on all perspectives.

It Provides A Safe Environment 

It’s tough to have a candid conversation with your teammates or colleagues about a difficult situation in the office or an icky manager. Of course, you can always bounce ideas off your personal support system such as your best friend, spouse or partner, and maybe even your parents, but my guess is you can probably predict their feedback before you even approach them. Building a community separate from your co-workers, family, and friends - one that you can lean on and learn from - will help you get through the various career challenges and curve balls. Having a place to process these issues, while developing a diverse network of peers, will build your confidence to have the courageous conversations, work through the issues at hand and help you be a better leader and employee in your current position.

It Helps You Build Your Personal Board of Directors

When I found out I was pregnant, the advice I received from parents was the same: “It takes a village, so start building your village now.” Over the course of my career, I’ve learned this also applies to your work. Gone are the days of staying in one company for 20 years and climbing the ladder in that firm. Careers now have more twists and turns, and this is especially true for women. It’s important to build a trustworthy group of mentors and sponsors, also known as your personal board of directors, that you can turn to for support and guidance as you strategically navigate these twists and turns. This group of “informal advisors” should consist of women (and men) inside and outside of your company, and you can find them through external networking.

The opportunities are endless when it comes to networking, but it’s important not to limit yourself. As Ellevate Chair, Sallie Krawcheck, has stated numerous times, a diverse network is a stronger network. There’s a community out there for everyone, so challenge yourself to expand yours and form connections that will make change possible.


Allison Matejczyk is Director of Corporate Partnerships at Ellevate Network and is responsible for generating new business with national and global companies and overall management of existing corporate relationships. With a BS in Finance from The Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, Allison went on to work among top executives at leading financial and wealth management institutions throughout her career.

Toss the old diversity and inclusion playbook — there's a new set of rules. Download the e-book from Sallie Krawcheck here.

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