Developing a network of business and social contacts is vital for personal and professional success. In our professional lives, our network can facilitate us secure a job, seek advice on job opportunities and work problems, get support, and ensure career progress. Statistics have shown that about three out of four United States-executives that earn more than $100,000 annually got their jobs through networking.
Steve Fishman on how to network
‘Leadership’ by William Safire and Leonard Safir attributes the following five steps for networking to an author by name Steve Fishman. My research has indicated that this is an excerpt from a ’80s issue of the ‘Success’ magazine.
- Meet as many people as you can.
- When you meet someone, tell him what you do. Networking is low-cost advertising.
- Don’t do business while networking. Make a date to meet your contact for drinks or lunch.
- Give and get. You can’t always be a buyer. Do favors. They’re like a savings account!
- Make friends even when you don’t need them.
Call for action
Tending to our business and social network is not time-consuming as some of us might expect. Through our daily interactions, we are developing our network at all times. We never know with whom we could strike up an important conversation. Therefore, quite often, networking involves just being open to interacting with new people and staying in touch with people we already know.
Use Steve Fishman’s five guidelines to build your network. Develop a few one-minute statements that can help you introduce yourself to people you may meet. Spend a few minutes every day to call people you already know. Reach out, connect, stay in touch and develop your network. How can you help people in your network? How can you be of value to them?