Networking is something that, actually, I am not very good at. It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s more I don’t like doing it.
I often see serial networkers, you know, those people who work a room, who look to make contact with all the right people, who seem to be sucking up to the bosses, and I think i don’t want to be perceived as being the same.
This is a big mistake on my part, as networking is an important aspect of advancing, increasing our influence, and increasing the potential resources that are available to us.
The larger our network, the more capability that is available to us. The smaller our network, the more isolated we are; the fewer contacts we will have; and consequently a smaller set of available resources.
I know there are many people with similar views to me, who dislike networking, who feel that we are asking for something, or that it looks like we are pushing our self interests.
But, in reality, when we network, not only to we open ourselves to more available resources, but we also make ourselves and our resources to the people within our network. This is a two way relationship, and this is how we should see it.
For sure there are people who only see it as a one way relationship, who are only interested in themselves, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t need to operate in the same manner, or that we should not participate in this valuable exercise.
Not only are networks valuable in terms of helping us get things done, or increasing our influence, but its estimated that between 65-85% of all jobs are found through networking, and this is certainly true the higher up you go.
So if you don’t participate in networking, then you are removing yourself from these opportunities.
As I write this post, I do think I am predominantly writing it for myself, as a reminder as to why I should network, and to remember that it’s also of benefit to both parties.
How do you feel about networking?
Is it something your good at, or like me something you shy away from?