Friday, August 20, 2010

Networking Doesn't Work

Jason Alba has a provocative blog title called "Networking Doesn't Work (Part II)" on his JibberJobber Blog. It is a follow up from a post of the same title from two years ago. This time he is posting a new comment from the old post were a reader whined that "Networking" is the most overused word in the last two years.

People often run around screaming "I Hate Networking" (even those who speak on the topic create presentations built on the "schtick" that networking is evil. I watched one woman drum up the passion in an audience by making them chant "I don't network, I connect").

Oh poppycock! (There you go....., to the person who said I could not properly use that word in a blog post!). When you understand what it means to network you cannot "hate" it or claim it does not work.

Here is my response on Jason's blog... I think it sums up my feelings on the topic:


You knew I would “bite” and leave a comment.

People mistakenly think that “networking” is a magic bullet. They will go to a few events, complain about the job market, and then proclaim “networking does not work!”. These people are right… Networking does not work if you do not WORK. In the middle of the word “networking” you will find the word “WORK”. If you thought it was quick and easy then someone lead you down the wrong path!

Networking is “The creation of long-term, mutually-beneficial relationships between two or more people where all involved prosper more because of the relationships than they would without the relationships”.

Lets look at that definition:

Creation (ummmm, that means you have to make it. Relationships and useful business connections do not happen by accident or happen just because you showed up at a happy hour)

Long-Term (ummm, that means you cannot expect results fast. Treat others as expendable for years… then call them when you get laid off…. you get a big NOTHIN’ from them. This is your fault, not theirs. Building a long-term relationship takes time to establish and cultivate. Sorry.. No short-cuts).

Mutually-beneficial (ummm, that means you cannot look at the other person as a genie in a bottle who will grant your every wish. You must bring something to the table. This “something” need not be big or equal to what they bring you… but it must exist. Takers get NOTHIN’ from networking!)

Two or more (ummmm, that means you cannot do it from your computer in your pajamas. I know, I know, social media changed the world. Bullshit. The ways we communicate have changed, how we are wired as human beings in our souls has not changed. A connection on LinkedIn without a meaningful relationship will bring you NOTHIN’)

All involved prosper more (ummmmm…..Your goal must be to see the other person prosper.. not just seeing yourself prosper. Yes, I know, you need a job. But if you only care about networking when you need something you will get NOTHIN’. See “mutually-beneficial").

More because of the relationships than without the relationships (ummmm… All opportunities come from people. A doorknob is a useful tool to get you into a room, but it will not bring you an opportunity. Put your attention on cultivation of connections with human beings and you will find yourself on top of a mountain screaming “NETWORKING DOES WORK!")

Have A Great Day.


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