Remember the old days (in the last century) when your parents told you to go to school, stay out of trouble, keep your nose clean, study hard, get good grades, get a good job, work there for 40 or 50 years, retire, move to Florida and enjoy the good life? Were you told this like I was? How’s that working out? That may have worked at some point way back in the past, but even ten year olds know that it doesn’t work this way today.
Networking has always been a smart thing to do and never more so than today. Especially today. Networking is the cultivating of mutually beneficial, give-and-take, win-win relationships. In a more and more interconnected world it is very smart to build strong networks. The days of working in a silo and not connecting with folks outside of your silo are over. Just look at Social Networking. Facebook, Plaxo, Twitter, LinkedIn, Naymz, and the list goes on and on. Your world is getting smaller with every connection you make.
Connecting is all about your friendliness, your ability to engage, and your willingness to give value first. More than likely, your next job, business opportunity, client or strategic alliance is going to come from networking and not from old-school advertising or similar means. This is a great time to be in business. As long as you’re someone who gives value first. People are looking to do business with people they like, know and trust.
Networking is important because in the world today, it isn’t just who you know, it’s who knows you and what you do. Effectively networking and adding value to your network comes back in many ways and often in very unlikely places. This makes perfect sense when you start to see all the hidden connections that we have with each other. And although it’s a cliché, “What goes around, comes around” is pretty much right on the mark. Build your network, add value, seek to serve and let the chips fall. I’m betting they’ll fall in your favor.