Ever wonder why some people get promoted all the time, while others languish at the same desk for decades?

Those that put themselves out there and make an effort to learn about their field stand a much greater chance of ascending the corporate ladder than those that work for the weekend.

By networking with others in your industry, you can get ahead in the same way that Marc J Leder has ended up on top of the private equity industry in South Florida.

If you aren’t convinced, read on below to find out why networking is essential to your career development efforts.

1) You’ll get the inside track on employment opportunities

Everything that you’ve heard about the hidden job market is true. For every help wanted ad that you see, there are approximately two invisible employment opportunities offered to people with the right connections.

By meeting people with decision-making power and finding ways to deliver value to them, you will be opening yourself up to opportunities that will never be advertised in the media.

Even if your contact does not have the ability to hook you up directly with an interview, they may know someone in their network that is looking for someone with your particular set of skills.

2) You’ll learn more about your industry

A sure way to get a leg up on your competition is to have an information advantage over them. By socializing on a regular basis with others in your niche, you will be privy to trends before outsiders learn about them.

Through the knowledge that you obtain, you can position yourself for success while others continue to struggle to get their footing in an ever-changing world.

3) You’ll be able to learn from the experiences of others

While experience is the greatest teacher, it is often best to use the experiences of others to avoid making mistakes in the first place.

When you are at a networking event, do not be afraid to ask the people that you are socializing with what their greatest failure was and how they recovered from it.

Those that perform at the highest level in business are not afraid of failure, as they view these events as stepping stones to success.

The valuable lessons that you will learn from these stories will help you avoid the sort of mistakes that end up crippling others, so actively listen when they are relaying their experiences to you.

4) You’ll get the opportunity to get constructive feedback on your ideas

Ever have an idea that could make a big difference in your field, only to have it shot down by the sort of negativity that reigns around the water cooler?

When you actively seek out networking opportunities, you will have an opportunity to bounce ideas off intelligent A-players that are capable of giving you constructive feedback.

They will be able to point out their shortcomings without putting you down, while suggesting improvements that will make your idea tighter and more attractive.

By sharing ideas with important people in your industry, you will also improve your reputation with these folks, as they will see you as an expert rather than being just another gear in the corporate machine.