Networking in everyday life is not necessarily an obvious concept. Networking as a term is most prominently found in popular business literature.
Traditional networking contains these elements:
- One connects to other people.
- Making a good impression.
- It takes place at events.
- It is goal-oriented.
Consider this universal truth of networking: Before you can get what you want, you have to know what you want, and make a game plan to get it. Networking in everyday life shares a number of features with the tradition networking you typically see in business: it involves connections with a set of individuals, there are contexts for action, and there are undoubtedly benefits from the interactions.
Humans are pro-social, interested in making contact with each other and sharing information and support. Obviously, not every person wants to support, share or exchange with all other people, but virtually all humans want to share with someone.
Personal situation...When we are looking for a painter to do some work around our house we often turn to networking for recommendations from others. Same holds true when we need work done on our auto. Seeking a contractor for other home related projects. Or perhaps we are looking for a good Italian restaurant. Networking is embedded into our daily lives as social beings...
Recently I was networking with insurance professionals I know seeking out ideas and recommendations for an opportunity I am working on for a client company. I engaged with a professional I had previously assisted when they were looking for a new job. I was quite surprised when this individual responded to me that they thought me reaching out to network with them was unprofessional. Yet I ask the question, "Wasn’t this very person networking with me for opportunities when they contacted me about their own job search previously?"
Everyone wants to meet someone. Networking is a way to access otherwise inaccessible people.
Networking is the number one way to get a job. 60-80% of jobs are found through some element of networking. A personal connection to a hiring manager is the best way to get your resume on the top of the pile. Think about 10 of your employed friends, how many of them got their job through a form of networking??
Networking keeps you sharp, current, and in touch with your industry. Your career should never be stagnant. Even if you plan on staying in a given job indefinitely – why not make your business the best and the busiest? Before making a leap into another career, what better way than to talk to people who know?
When you’re talking to a friend of a friend, it’s unlikely that the friend’s friend is going to lead you on or tell you half-truths. You can more or less expect to get the full story. If you’re talking about a job opportunity – you’ll hear about the hours, the boss, coworkers, etc.
It’s all very simple…
- A good network is a two-way street of helpful relationships.
- In every social situation you’re in, make sure people leave knowing who you are, what service/skills you provide, and how to get a hold of you.
- Karmic payoff. You help others, others will help you. Everyone likes people who are helpful – so good things will likely come to those people. Reciprocity is the golden rule and focuses on how to translate relationships into personal success.