How often do you network? Do you love networking? Do you find it difficult to network?
Success in life requires networking and that in return help to enhance your skills, gain more access to opportunities, advance your career, expand your knowledge, build your confidence and so many more benefits can derive from networking. The more you network, you will grow and make lasting connections. This, of course, will only occur if you make the right connections.
This is the holidays season and many of us (if not in a lockdown) will be catching up with friends and families.
Previously, I had a love-hate relationship for networking. Perhaps until now; but this time with a different perception of the word.
As a matter of fact, I’ve now viewed it in a distinctive way hence, I always ensure that when I’m networking it’s intentional and worthwhile.
Many of us network for various reasons. But if you are considering a particular result you should do so tactfully and responsibly.
This post brings to mind the period of time in which I used to network uselessly and aimlessly, especially with people who’ve served no real or genuine purpose in my life. Possibly because it was a misjudgement and inexperience on my part.
It could have been an opportunity if I’d seen it from a different perspective at that time. On the other hand, it was a lesson on how not to network. So altogether it was not an absolute waste.
I want to share with you some of what I learned on how not to network.
Giving your time to people who don’t matter. When you give your time to the wrong people you relinquish more than your time – you relinquish yourself. Such an act can diminish you and leave you empty. Assess how giving your time to others affects you and take action.
Not doing your homework. Get to know basic details about who you will be networking with. Enough details so you can choose whether you want to go or not. Be wary of running into people you may not be interested in. Or people who don’t satisfy your criteria.
Avoid networking just because “Brian” is the CEO. Not everyone is for us. That can be disputed especially when it comes to networking because “Brian may be of some use to you and vice versa. Directly or indirectly. However, it is important to consider whether that individual is interested in building a sincere relationship and connection.
Sharing personal information with anybody. You may want to consider how you disseminate details of yourself and avoid giving them to people who are irrelevant and have zero interest in establishing genuine and long term relationships.
Expanding your network without purpose. If you are interested in forming and maintaining genuine connections when expanding your network, always ascertain that it’s purposeful and with those who are nurturing and authentic.
Having large and meaningless connections. If you intend to succeed at networking pursuing a small and quality circle is far better than a large group unrelated. Don’t get me wrong but the focus should be on quality and not quantity. You’re better off that way.
These are just a few.
Your approach should be intentional to further your growth and personal development. This may apply to any profession.
I recognize the importance of meeting people, from various backgrounds and cultures. If the primary goal of networking is not to build a genuine, lasting and worthwhile connection it will lose its strength (if any) because of the absence of legitimacy.