The Lost Art of Networking
It doesn’t matter if you run a multi-billion dollar corporation, a small business, a department within a corporation or you are an individual contributor. Your success is largely dependent on the breadth and depth of your network. Your network is the foundation in moving your company, your department, your career and your job search forward. Networking needs to be on-going activity that you invest time and money in, as the payoffs are huge, but many of us are reluctant to do it.
Why the Reluctance in Building Your Network?
- Time. Many of us are so consumed with our jobs and family life, that we neglect to set-aside time to build our network. We would rather spend our spare time doing other activities, with networking being at the bottom of that list.
- No Need. We are comfortable in our job or our business is running smoothly and we have a pretty good network of contacts, so no real need to spend the time in building our network with new contacts. The danger with this mindset, is that when you unexpectedly lose your job or your business starts to lose key customers, your existing network may not be large or diverse enough to help deal with these unexpected negative occurrences and you may need to scramble to ensure you can move forward with finding a new job or new clients for your business.
- Not Natural. The majority of us are not conditioned to naturally network with people we don’t know. It can be an extremely stressful and uncomfortable thing to do, so many of us just avoid doing it. It is important to get out of your comfort zone and put yourself in situations to expand your sphere of influence and your network.
Steps You Can Take Today To Build Your Network of Contacts
- Reconnect. Reach out to your existing network of contacts and ask for referrals and let them help expand your network of contacts. Leverage your existing network to build a bigger network.
- Build your on-line presence. LinkedIn is a great tool to use to help you build your network of contacts. Having a robust LinkedIn profile and using LinkedIn to connect with individuals who can help move your job search, career or business forward is a smart way to build your network of contacts.
- Write Articles/Blogs. Showcase and share your knowledge and ideas. When you begin to invest time in sharing your knowledge, people will gravitate to you and will want to be part of your network.
- Attend Conferences. Conferences are a great way to expand your network of contacts quickly and cost effectively. You can meet a lot of people in a short period of time. Take advantage of conferences when you have the opportunity.
- Good old face-to-face meetings. Take the time to meet people for coffee or lunch. Meeting face-to-face is also fast becoming a lost art form in this social media,digital and technology driven world. Don’t underestimate the power of face-to-face meetings.
Networking should be at the top of your list if you want to find that ideal job, move your career forward, or take your business to another level. When you invest the time to build and implement your networking strategy, you will be amazed at the results.
Paul is President and CEO of One World Consulting Group, LLC. Paul is a recruiting strategist, career coach and global recruiter who serves individuals and companies from around the world. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 1-425-766-9778 to discuss your recruiting needs.
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