Maintaining a network of people is very important and key to a successful career when it involves a lot of human relations. This is the most valuable asset you have as a job-seeker, employee, or manager as it is diverse, strategic and nurtured.
What does all this mean? Here is an example. Hosting a party with people of all walks of life is a good start to bring people with similar interest or field of work together. Let’s say you are hosting a party and have a friend who recently graduated from a local university with a degree on Law and he is looking for some opportunities. You immediately gathered all the lawyers that were at present introduce them to each other throughout the party. “Tell me something you need or want to happen because I probably know someone in my network who can help you make it happen.”. That’s something that you will very likely hear from the group of lawyers.
Why is this so important? Opportunities are tied to people and people like to work with others that share common interests and can be trustable. Forming bonds and adding value to others constantly will ensure that they will be more approachable and responsive. Career and personal statuses play no part as a mutual respect and bond is formed in your network circle. What could possibly go wrong? Well, let’s start from what could go wrong when you start building your network circle.
Networking In The Wrong Places
One common mistake is networking in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you are constantly attending networking events with little success, that is because you are casting your net too widely. You are bound to see many in the job market who do this. They attend career fairs or other large networking events only to leave feeling low and no closer to their goals. Simply because they are looking at the wrong place! You need to know what are the outcomes you desire and the best person to help you. For example, if you are looking to get hired at a specific company then you want to meet hiring managers who are in the position to help you.
Networking At The Wrong Level For Your Goals
Networking at your current level is much more comfortable than those above you. It won’t get you where you want to be and increase your success in the same way as you wish. Start building relationships with successful people in a position to assist you. One example would be observing a Chamber of Commerce meeting or a business networking group where everyone there is looking for referrals and then you know the rest.
Having No System To Leverage Your Network
Without a system to follow up and develop your relationships, they end up fading over time and lose their value. Even if an opportunity were to come up that would be of mutual interest, you wouldn’t be able to seize it because the connection had gone cold. One example would be back having a huge stack of business cards from a conference you recently attended but only to stick them in your drawer and do nothing with them. Not having a plan to use the information you received is a huge barrier to networking relations. The common misconception is to think networking is just meeting one person after another while building a huge pool of contacts but many years later and have nothing to show for it.
Failing To Network in The Best Way to Create Valuable Long-term Relationships
People are quick to ask for favours, jobs, and introductions. However, there is one problem. Logically, no one would accept to do you a favour when they don’t even know you. Let alone trust you. The only way that is going to happen is through regular contact where you are continually expressing interest and adding value to them. This value can come in many ways so you need to get creative.