Statistics have proven that a professional’s ability to network effectively opens up a world of opportunities, including career advancement. However, there are many other benefits to networking. These benefits include enhancing the growth and proficiency of job seekers and entrepreneurs. Networking also improves interpersonal skills, increases efficiency and effectiveness, builds confidence and it establishes a distinct professional brand.
For over two decades, Sherry Lowe-Cook has been a resource to industry leaders. As a professional human resources consultant, Cook coaches team leads, managers and leaders on how to become better leaders.
Sherry started her career in human resources while working with a global, fortune 500 corporation twenty five years ago. For the past four years, she has been owner and operator of Coach N Works, a human resources consulting firm. When speaking with Sherry about what she does, it is evident that she truly enjoys it. This passion has played a key role in her success and longevity in the industry.
“When you enjoy what you do, you typically excel because of that passion and you will have a strong desire to do what drives you. I enjoy seeing people succeed, and there is no greater feeling than to see someone realize their dreams. I also enjoy assisting individuals with identifying their talents. I do this by pinpointing, acknowledging and focusing on their passion.” She said.
Sherry points out that her professional networking strategy is very important in building her client base. “Networking has allowed me to meet different types of people and it has also provided me opportunities to help others by sharing what I have learned.” She said.
She sees networking as a mutually beneficial two way street. “I have met people and participated in various programs and organizations. Without networking, I may not have otherwise been exposed to these opportunities.” Sherry stated
“Networking provides exposure, education, support and training. In business you need to generate clients, sales and leverage relationships in order to get to the next level. Networking can be a fun and nonthreatening way to meet potential clients and to help generate new business.” She stated
Sherry has advice for other prospective professional networkers. “Start with joining a referral group that is comprised of small business owners who are trying to generate business via referrals. There are a number of these types of groups within the Metro Atlanta area and nationwide. I would also advise on joining a professional or trade association for your particular business and industry. These types of organizations provide education and training for its members and networking opportunities too.
Sherry does not see networking as a one size fits all anecdote. “It’s best to identify the group which best meets your needs and go with that one.” She said.