Thursday, December 04, 2008


How effective are you at networking? Do you even think about it much? Typically, if I'm in the middle of a big project, I'm not thinking about networking, but I know I should be.

First there's networking within your organization. This can help you with your project or career inside the company. If you build your network, you have people you can call on to help you out when you need it.

Then there's networking outside your company. Maybe you're in the perfect job and never plan on leaving, so you don't see the point. Networking is more than finding a job though. Through my networking, I've meet people that have helped me in the job I was at, learn new skills, and participate in interesting activities outside of work.

There are two important things about a network. First, don't wait until you need it to build it. The last time I was laid off, I had a strong network in place and quickly had a number of opportunities to explore.

The second thing is the network isn't a one-way street. You have to be willing to give to your network and help them out. Maybe it's saying yes when someone asks for a volunteer or helping someone with a problem. You have to pay into your network in order to be able to draw on it later. Karma works here; the person I help today may not be able to help me next week, but someone will as long as I'm paying into the network.

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