“It’s not what you know but who you know that makes the difference.”
Networking is an important skill that every man should practice regularly. It can help you learn more, job search effectively, and build your business.
Although your network should include a diverse variety of people, it should be primarily composed of these four types of people.
Professional Organization Members
Members of professional organizations are very likely to be able to help you find a job. Because they are, by definition, intrinsically involved in their profession, these people can often help you grow in the business world.
If you are an employee, you can use your these contacts to find a better job, and, if you are self-employed, you can use your network to partner with other companies or land important contracts.
To truly make the most of this opportunity, you need to become involved in the organization. Although you may not be able to coordinate their next conference, you can at least help with the setup.
Present and past colleagues should form an important part of your network. Because these people really know you well, they can give good recommendations and will probably be glad to help you.
As you and your coworkers move to different companies, keep in contact. Always look for ways to help your colleagues so that they are interested in helping you.
Also, build a good reputation by working hard, being effective, and helping others. If you want a truly stellar recommendation, you must be worthy of it.
Most likely, your family members will be more interested in helping you than anyone else would be. Unfortunately, your relatives will rarely be in a position to help you professionally. Because they are probably working in different fields, your family members will not normally be able to help you find a good job. However, you never know where a job opportunity might turn up.
Work to maintain close relationships with your family members. After moving out, it is often hard to keep in close contact with your parents and siblings, but the effort is certainly worth it.
Aside from the potential benefits to your career, you will reap many (more important) spiritual benefits.
Your friends, both old and new, can be excellent parts of your network. Depending on the field that they work in, your friends may or may not be able to help you get a job. Either way, they can be great sources of recommendations.
Remember to always put your friendship first and not ask too many favors. Also, constantly look for ways to help your friends. After all, “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly…” (Proverbs 18:24a).
Although networking is an important part of life, it can easily become a selfish pursuit. Do not build relationships with the goal of getting something for yourself, but, instead, build your network with the goal of helping others.
If you are selfishly interested in getting as much as possible from your contacts, you will only have a few, half-hearted friends.
If, on the other hand, you are more interested in helping others, you will build a strong, vibrant network.
How has networking helped you?