I was working on an article for ORIGINATE! (the world's leading online resource for legal marketing) on "Why Your Network Is MORE Important In 2009", and was in need of inspiration.
Thus I turned to Twitter and posted the question to those who follow me "Why is your network more important in 2009". I even offered a $10 Starbucks gift card to the most inspiring response.
While I got several great comments back, the best was from Drew Weaver of Joplin, MO (AKA: @drewmaniac) who said:
"My network of professional contacts is more important in 2009 because I don't care much for soup lines."
He was being funny, but his point was clear .... Your network is your lifeline. Without an established network of contacts who care for your future, you could quickly lose everything if the bottom fell out.
I hear from many people who are out of work and "just getting around" to networking. You can't expect to ignore your networking efforts for years (or decades) and then jump in looking for help when you are in need. A network is about give and take. You must create and cultivate relationships long before you need a favor.
With crazy bumps in the economy everyone seems to have taken a renewed interest in networking. That is smart.... but they really never should have let their attention to the power of business relationships falter in the first place.
If you have any concerns about your company and career, I suggest you look at the people in your business community who can have influence on helping you achieve in 2009. Don't wait until you are upside down.
Have A Great Day.