FORMER COLLEAGUES are the most important network at accountants' disposal, according to accountancy recruitment specialists Mark Sattin.
A poll of 152 accountants carried out by the recruiter found that 56% of accountants felt ex-colleagues were the most important network tool they have, followed by social media sites such as LinkedIn with 30%.
The research also shows that the old boys' club of networking is starting to diminish.
Although a quarter of respondents said there were more opportunities for men to network than women, the old myth of making deals on the golf course is starting to wain. Just 5% claim sports clubs are important to networking, just 4% said the same of members clubs and the old school tie. However, more than a fifth cited university friends as important to networking capabilities with 8% for families.
Women are more likely to network with their own gender (14%) compared to men (4%), largely due to women only networking events to boost gender equality.
More than half, (52%) said they worked with or had been employed by a former colleague. While two thirds of accountants are on LinkedIn, just 39% of accountancy employers are using the professional social media site, meaning they could be missing out on potential talent and business opportunities.
Dave Way, managing director of Marks Sattin said: "The importance of ex-colleagues in your future career should be a strong deterrent to anyone thinking of "going out with a bang" in the mould of Greg Smith at Goldman Sachs when they leave a job. You never know when current colleagues might prove useful in the future.
He added: "There are many causes of gender inequality in the workplace, but one that has often been raised is the fact that members' clubs, sports teams and old school ties all favoured men when it came to networking. However, as these institutions' influence diminishes, there also appears to be a greater focus on women-only networking, and women's career progression in general. This is a gap that should close organically over time."
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