a company focused on supporting professionals around the world with the tools to achieve

Author : LandonBuelow
Publish Date : 2020-10-24


a company focused on supporting professionals around the world with the tools to achieve

Networking. Even its very label sends shivers down the spine of most people. The word conjures up terror, awkwardness. Networking feels inauthentic, uncomfortable and 'horrible'. I hate it. I never know what to say. I avoid networking. And these are just a few of the more positive things women have said to me!

So why is networking so critical to workplace success?

Put simply, working hard and keeping your head down WILL NOT get you to where you want to get to. If you are happy with your lot; satisfied with your career; and love going to work every day then I suggest this article is not for you. If, however, you know you are capable of more, you feel frustrated that you are not getting the interesting and challenging opportunities then I suggest you read on!

Firstly, let's be clear on what networking is.

Well, firstly it's best known as the number one strategy for getting a good job. Health Warning. Most people see the value of networking when they have just been laid off. Their LinkedIn Profile goes through the roof. They start contacting people they haven't spoken to for years. This is not the way to build and develop a strong network. Don't fall into the Loser trap! People can see straight through you.

Networking is about relationships.

Networking is something that is an essential part of your role. It should have as high a priority as your daily shower or morning cup of coffee.

I love this definition by Angela Hackett:

"Networking is talking and connecting with people with NO ulterior motive. It's a desire to learn and expand your world."

Suddenly doesn't networking seem so much more relevant and motivating?

EY (Ernst and Young) recently commissioned research to look into how professionals are networking now and how this may change in the future.

Here's some of their interesting findings:

· Networking is now seen as a "Core Business Skill"

· Apparently 1 in 4 professionals DON'T network at all

· And 65% of people prefer to network in person

Now that last statements has to be a fascinating statistic. Despite the drive for social media, an insatiable need to be on Facebook throughout the day and thousands of people joining LinkedIn every day, the majority of us would still prefer to meet in person.

So let's get clear as to why networking is so critical:

1) Employee referrals are still the number one way to get hired. Typically someone in your network will have insider information about new positions and opportunities before they go public. How many times have people asked you - Do you know of someone who could do x?

You need to be the person they think of when a great opportunity lands.

2) Creating a Community. This is all about learning and sharing information and knowledge. Here you can draw upon other people's experiences, advice and wisdom when you get stuck or want to bounce some ideas off others.

3) Six Degrees of Separation. There's a general rule of thumb that says we are never more than six degrees away from another. Most people know someone who knows the person you want to know! According to the author of "How to be a Power Connector" by Judy Robinett, most people know an average of 632 people. That's a lot of people!

And Finally, when networking remember the golden rule of 3:

Golden Rule Number 1 - Be Interested in Other People. Genuinely Interested.

Golden Rule Number 2 - Make Sure other people know what you are about - your skills, interests, passions, talents and something that will help them remember you

Golden Rule Number 3 - Follow up. Be clear about how to get hold of each other. Follow up graciously. Always thank the other person and look for creative ways to keep in touch.

Sandra Green is the founder of Sandra Green Consulting Ltd - a company focused on supporting professionals around the world with the tools to achieve outstanding career success. While Sandra is best known for her expertise in executive coaching, her clients share that her biggest impact comes from her philosophy of "leading the life you were meant to lead with the gifts you were uniquely given".

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