It’s Not What You Know but Who You Know

As a professional, you need to network. Have a job and want to keep it? You need to network. As I mentioned in a previous blog post LinkedIn makes networking a fairly easy and transparent process for even the biggest introvert. Networking should be an ongoing endeavor that is just as important as performing your job in an excellent manner. Over the last 2 recessions, we have learned that no company or employee can fail to evolve to meet their customer’s expectations or their shareholder’s revenue goals. One big economic downturn or any number of other variables you cannot control and you could find yourself in a frantic job search.


Might sound dramatic but if you are not progressing in your career, you are moving backward. Career success is often defined by moving up, but really moving up is not always possible just keep networking.  Building your personal brand via networking helps to establish you as an industry matter expert while providing opportunities to share that expertise.  Sharing your expertise and learning from other experts in your network via LinkedIn provides you with an easy way to engage without having to engage face-to-face.

If you have never been excited by the idea of navigating a networking event or a crowded ballroom then social media can provide you with a networking opportunity where you can control the pace and how far you put yourself out there. If you’re looking for a job, networking is the single best way to land a position. It’s not an overnight fix, but it definitely beats sitting at your computer and sending out resumes that may or may not be seen by a human. How do you network?


Here’s how to get started. Networking is all about building genuine relationships. It is about taking an interest in somebody else, and it’s about giving as much as you get. Think about your own life, can you tell when somebody genuinely wants to get to know you and when he or she just wants something from you? People will know your intentions, too, so if you’ve been against networking because you thought it involved being fake, that is the type of networking you should avoid because artificial networking wastes your time and never produces genuine results.

You should want your networking relationships to be genuine so when you’re looking to build a professional network, concentrate on people who are like you. If you’re looking for a professional position in a Fortune 500 company, try to form relationships with people in those organizations and similar roles.

While contacts and networking in targeted groups are important don’t count out people outside of your profession. Building a professional network in a varied and diverse background provides you with a larger foundation to drive your career and better perspective. How many professionals is he or she in contact with each day and how many stories does he or she hear about job openings?

Don’t know where to meet people besides LinkedIn? Volunteer your time. Volunteer at your church, at charity events, and/or local fundraising.  You can offer to speak to community groups on topics related to your expertise. Offer your talents for the good of others. People will see your work ethic and the way you interact with other people. They’ll then feel comfortable recommending you for a job in their circle of influence when one becomes available.

Once you meet somebody, locate him or her on social media and email or send a text message. Even in the 21st century, people like to get to know each other face to face.