Networking. And why you’re doing it wrong.

I meet a lot of people on a daily basis. Friends. Acquaintances. Potential business partners. Potential clients. People who are willing to do some interesting projects with me. People who I met somewhere on one of the networking events I attend regularly.
I meet them on the street, in supermarkets, at parties, at seminars, at trainings or workshops, while commuting or while buying my coffee at my favorite coffee shop…

Image

Meeting people is great. Meeting new people is exciting and provides you with a lot of opportunities, both in personal and career life. But you all know that and you don’t need another truism from me 😉

Nowadays, everyone talks a lot about networking. I also mentioned about some pros of networking some time back.

Looks like everyone knows what networking is and how to do it. There are tons of pieces of advice on how to DO the networking. Which is great.

So… why so many people are doing it wrong? Continue reading

Advertisements

B2B or Beer2Beer, that is the question…

Image

Frankly, I’m having mixed feelings after Grow Up Start Up event that took place on 19-20 June in Warsaw, Poland. I’m not gonna talk about the things I didn’t like though. I’ll focus on the positive outcome instead. Because THERE ARE a couple of excellent take aways for me after these 2 days.

First of all, contacts! I truly believe I found myself in the right place at the right time. We decided with a colleague of mine to skip a discussion panel and go for a beer. There, we figured out how our visions of running our own start-ups are similar. Suddenly, a bunch of people joined us at the table and we continued our inspiring conversations in a bigger group (have a look at the photo above, it speaks for itself ;)). What I noticed was the fact that they were all open-minded people who go for such events from time to time and who know what networking really is. Yep, most probably that’s why it was incredibly easy for all of us to communicate so well and take advantage of that opportunity. Continue reading

Why networking is so damn important?

Image

This will be the very first of a series of posts about my favorite topic, which is networking.

We all network. Some do it better, some do it worse. With various results. Almost all of us have Facebook or Twitter account, a significant percentage of all professionals around the world also have a LinkedIn profile. But this is an online universe. Meanwhile in parallel universe…

Exactly. What about the real life networking? Do you actually realize how important networking is for your business or your professional career? Do you benefit out of it?

In order to help you answer all these questions, let me first touch base on the networking itself.

A network, as I see it, is a net of contacts one knows personally or virtually. Obviously, it is more effective and beneficial to network once you know someone from real life, when you can “put the name to the face” as we say it in corporate language.

I had a chance (and a pleasure) to work in a multinational (also virtual) environment for about 6 years so I’ll be sharing with you some examples from my own experience.

There are no doubts that networking is a great opportunity for you and there could be only benefits out of it (provided you do all the right things). Apart from the obvious reason of having multiple connections, a huge net of potential business partners, clients, colleagues or acquaintances, there is one thing you should bear in mind before you even start networking: this may change your life.

I’m not kidding. Let me give you an example.

Say you have been working for some time now in a company / corporation and you wish to advance in your career. You apply for the desired position within that organization but in another department. You have a great CV, some excellent achievements and the interview went extremely well. Now imagine there is also Michael applying for that position. And he has a very similar profile. You are both strong candidates and both look promising. Say Michael met up with a couple of folks from that department sometime back and he offered his help in preparing that difficult report the team were struggling with. He also mentioned several times that he would be interested in working on some projects carried out in their department. The manager of the department really liked Michael’s report and his proactive attitude. Although he likes you as a candidate, he already knows a bit more about Michael and his skills. Who do you think will get the job?

We hear quite often that networking is just about creating connections. Moreover, it is viewed in the negative light. I’m not denying, it might be the case in some circumstances. What you should realize though is the fact that networking is all about creating and maintaining relationships. How to do it professionally? Well, simply wait for my next post about good practices! 🙂