If you know me well, then you know that I am a big believer in the power of networking and regularly see consistent and predictable results from networking. In today’s world, I firmly believe that networking is more important than degrees, certifications, resumes, or how good you look. Regardless, many people are stuck not getting what they want from their job, career, business, or relationships. In conversations with friends, family, clients, and colleagues, I’ve noticed some common ways of thinking that hold people back in this area:
“I Hate Networking”
According to Dictionary.Com, one definition of networking is “to cultivate people who can be helpful to one professionally, especially in finding employment or moving to a higher position.” I find it incredibly ironic that people who seem to hate networking are usually the ones who are also actively looking for new employment and/or a higher position.
“I Don’t Have Time to Spend on Networking”
In its purest form, networking is socializing and making friends. Social disorders aside, how could you not have time socialize? When you are waiting on line for food at your lunch break, do you have time to ask the person near you how their day is going? Do you not have time to ask someone new to lunch next week? Do you not have time to quickly introduce yourself to that neighbor on your block that you always see when you come home?
“I Always Network, but Nothing Ever Comes From It”
I find that people who constantly try to promote themselves usually say this. One of the best things that I’ve learned about networking was from Thomas J. Stanley in his book Networking with Millionaires… and Their Advisors (affiliate link). The book itself was a boring read, but filled with great advice on how to network. Towards the end of the book, he talked about how true success at networking is becoming an apostle to other people…going out of your way to help others and NEVER expecting anything in return. Over time, you will become the person that other people go to FIRST when they need something and they will connect you with the right people.
What Are Your Thoughts on Networking?
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