As a professional, can you rate yourself in a scale of 1-10 in the area of networking with other professionals?
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When last do you network with others both online and offline?
Do you feel BIG to network with upcoming professionals?
Can you survive as a professional without others?
Do you perceived networking as an art or an accident?
Why all these questions? Good.
What is Networking itself?
Networking is the practice of meeting other people involved in the same kind of work, field, or profession, to share information, support each other.
Networking is the deliberate process of exchanging information, resources, support, and access in such a way as to create mutually beneficial relationship for personal and professional success.
Networking in a clearer and louder definition: Establish enduring, inclusive relations within (the company) with our customers, employees, teammates, and community. Enable mutually beneficial partnership that full advantage of internal and external synergies.
In recent time, hardly can pickup a business school journal without seeing an article on networking. University research is exploring such topic as social capital communities of practice and horizontal integration.
Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon in their book, Make Your Contact Count: Networking Know-How for Business and Career Success. They both co-authored the finest 21st century networking workbook through their thorough research, written about and spoken on the subject-matter.
According to them, the following are the importance of networking in todays business environment:
Networking is now the essential professional competency for employees at all levels. They need to develop strategic networking skills and practices to excel at creating, cultivating, and capitalizing on the cross-functional relationship that get things done and affect the bottom line.
Networking is now the most important tool for intelligence gathering. In business setting, such as conferences, trade shows, meeting, and even golf outing, people need leading- edge networking skills to find the latest information on resources, trend, and best practices.
Networking is now the antidote to the coming brain as veteran retires. Experienced employees need networking expertise so they can pass on their valuable organizational and technical knowledge to newer, younger staff members.
Networking is now the critical strategy for business development. Professional and entrepreneurs needs to know how to gain visibility and credibility in the target markets, and how to build and maintain relationship for long-term growth.
Networking is now a must-have capability professional association members. Members need networking skills to take advantage of great connections at professional association meetings and conferences and to bring back new ideas and practice into their place of business.
Networking is the know-how for doing business in the world. International businesspeople and students need to get comfortable with and competent in the cultural ground rules for building relationships.
Networking is the method for personnel retention because it creates feeling of inclusion and helps people from diverse back-grounds feel listened to and valued at work.
Networking remains the primary technique that people use to find new jobs, change careers, or land on their feet after a layoff, merger, or reorganization. People who are looking for career advancement need practical networking strategies to become the natural and only choice in the job market.
I also wrote an article some years ago about the: 5 ways to gain experience in HR: http:///nuur3zn where networking is one of the ways to grow.
Networking is about trust. I wrote an article on Trust
Do you know the trust building is the most important networking activity? Even if you realize its importance, you may not know how to do it. What do you know about trust?
The biggest mistake networkers make is not being strategic. To be strategic, you must understand and use two underlying concepts: How trust develops and how relationships develop.
What is your own understanding on the concept, networking?
Akeem Gbadamosi, M.Sc. Industrial Relations and Human Resources Management.