Blog Archive

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Networking - it works if you let it!

Written by Dan Gradel
Sr. Recruiter
Dallas, TX

We live in a world that is fast paced, complex and demanding and with these constraints we are ever evolving to find ways to make every facet of life more productive, more convenient and easier. Whether to allow for a couple minutes of peace and quiet or to catch up with people that we can’t find time for in the course of days, weeks and years we have devised websites like Facebook for our friends and family, to find love, and LinkedIn to facilitate our growing business contacts.

In my career I have become very familiar to a concept that was as much a function of my job as it was a part of my personality - networking. I will admit that at the very mention of this word most people will look away in horror as though a tragic accident has just been referenced. Why? Well, I’ve found that people in general just do not like to do this activity and in some cases loathe it because it is personal, time consuming and often unproductive.   

The purpose of effective networking should be to build a community of people who genuinely want to perpetuate the good of the group, in other words they are there to: inform you of things you previously didn’t know about, teach you new skills, listen and share things that they think you would be interested in.  After all, you would be networking with people that ultimately bring value to your personal or professional life and have like minded interests, right? I think that we all start off with good intentions and do a great job of amassing a following only to fall flat on the part of helping others. In today’s electronic world it is so easy to forward a message to others to say “hey, this looked like something that would be of interest to you”, but we don’t. Why?  Why don’t we send our like minded network information that is of mutual interest?   

The information that I frequently send is for job postings/hiring needs and the answer that I routinely receive is that “I don’t know of anyone looking right now.” Well, not to be blunt but have you recently polled your entire network to see what their current level of happiness is with their current position and if the one I am presenting is a better fit or possibly the next step that they have been looking for? Do you know: who is getting laid off in a month? Which company is moving or going out of business?  Who has been searching for so long they have lost hope? Of course not, this would take a very long time and is the exact reason we devised these electronic means of networking, it is an easy way to share information with a lot of people.

We network to provide a security blanket for unseen future events, to gather information and to gain relevant industry skills, but none of this works if we don’t do our part to maintain relationships and be an active advocate for each other. The old adage, “It’s not what you know, but who you know” hasn’t survived without bearing a good deal of truth. So who can you help today? Hopefully in the end it will be you!

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