In an ever changing world, time, money, resources to knowledge are at a premium. Learning how to build a powerful network is essential to overcome challenges and obstacles or capitalize on opportunities for you to succeed.
Networking is first and foremost about building relationships. Whether we are in a nine-to-five job, an entrepreneur or student – healthy, strong relationships become essential to achieve our dreams and accomplish our goals.
In the book Leadership and Self Deception published by the Arbinger Institute, there was a story about a new lawyer who was assigned to a huge project with a large team. Life events caused him to him to disrupt his life and move. When he arrived to work with the new project, most of the team was located on the 25th floor. He, however arriving later, was located on the 21st floor. Feeling a little put out, he moved into his office and decided to dig in. If he worked really hard someone was sure to notice. The project moved along. He missed lunches with the team because he didn’t travel to the 25th floor (free lunches were provided for the team daily and there was a team understanding that everyone was invited). Changes were made in the project, but because this young lawyer was isolated (mostly self imposed), he didn’t incorporate changes, causing him to look ill prepared and his reports to be substandard. Another time, he was “chewed out” for being hard to find, although he was in his office working. If he would have taken the time network internally, he would have avoided a lot of grief and anguish.
A young woman moved far from home. She wanted to learn a new industry and put her talents to good use. She had identified where she wanted to live and she moved. Jobs were limited. Her temporary job was over, but she decided to stay rather than move back home. She worked six part time jobs, one of them in a restaurant. One evening she was talking to one of the customers who shared with her that his company was looking to fill a new position. The more he talked, the more he described a person with her exact qualifications. When he asked, “Do you know anyone?” Her response, “That sounds like me.” Within weeks she was interviewed at the corporate office and was hired for the job. She “networked” her way into her “dream job.”
Relationships are imperative to our success. Limiting our contacts and our experiences greatly hampers our growth. Conversely, putting ourselves out there greatly influences our ability to capitalize on our talents and potential and get what we really, really want out of life. Networking is one key to opening many doors. Network!