Networking is one of the single most beneficial ways for you to achieve more not just in business, but also in life in general. It can lead to more information and more personal growth, which, in turn, can of course lead to new breakthroughs and achievements in business! In the past, much has been made of the “old boys network,” but to be sure times are changing. Today, we can discuss the “old girls network” as well.

There are some stark differences, of course. For example, the “old girls network” can include men, whereas the old boys network, rarely if ever did. In the world of networking, a new day has dawned. In part, this is thanks to the Internet and a general shift in society. Women should be proactive about taking full advantage of these new networking opportunities. After all, what do you have to lose by doing so?

Networking Can take Place in Many Places

Women are generally receptive to making new contacts. This means that you should be eager to embrace reaching out to women, saying hello both in the virtual world, as exemplified in social media and in the real world, as well through social organizations and meeting. The bottom line is that you never know whom you may meet!

The Internet has effectively sorted a vast amount of information on every topic imaginable. No matter what field you are in or what your interests may be, you can research online to find like-minded women who will support you and your goals!

By seeking out like-minded women who are on the same path and “wavelength” as you, it is possible for you to build a network of contacts across different sectors. It may take some time, but the effort is well worth the while. This process can serve to open a myriad of different doors for you both professionally and personally.

Make Each Relationship a Win-Win Situation!

In general, women are receptive to helping one another. This fact means that there is true value in building a female-based network. Additionally, don’t be shy about telling other women that you are doing this and offer to help them. In this way, your connections will see that interacting with you could also serve their interest as well.

Is She a Business Associate or a Friend?

At times the line between networking and friendship can blur. Oftentimes this isn’t a problem, but other times it could be quite problematic. What should you do? First, you should step back and evaluate whether or not blurring the lines between business and friendship could be potentially problematic for you, your business and your long term goals. If you don’t see any “red flags,” then turning your business contacts into friends might be fine, but this is something that must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. When a business contact wants to become friends, it can be tricky as you do run the risk of alienating the person if you reject offers of friendship. In general, the best way to sidestep this issue is to subtly relay to them just how busy you are. In time, the relationship will end up merely being professional.

Above all, network, network and network some more. Networking has just too many benefits, and you should take full advantage of them whenever possible!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Madeline Ann Lewis is the President/CEO of the Executive Women’s Success Institute ( in Maryland. She is a career strategist, speaker, trainer, consultant and the author of Finding Your Best Inside: How to Become the Person You Are Meant to Be and Playing from the Blue Tee: Women in the Federal Government. Reach her by e-mail at