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Value vs. Volume - Networking Smarter for Career Success

Posted by Brian Spence on Mar 14, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Networking, Career, JobAn often repeated truth says, "it's not what you know, it's who you know". Putting a modern twist on that advice might be, "When networking, it's not how many you connect with,it's who you choose to get to know."

Networking is a buzzword in the business world. Making connections is necessary to advance your career. There are numerous platforms for making those contacts. From Linkedin and other online venues to conferences, cocktail parties and even after work events, you will encounter people who could be beneficial to you and vice versa.

Some people say work the percentages; the more people you meet the higher the likelihood of realizing new clients, etc. But mass quantities of handshakes don't always translate into increased success. Author Ivan Misner, dubbed by Entrepreneur magazine as the Networking Guru, claims "Quantity is good, but quality is King."

Use Your Time Wisely

The secret is not filling your briefcase with business cards, but refining your personal database with those who are truly of a caliber worth cultivating into relationships. This doesn't make you cynical or a user; it means you don't chew up time with chatterboxes who want to get some free therapy by complaining about the people they work with or for.

Negativity is an energy drain. Then there are the those who need to dominate the conversation and impart to you their achievements and opinions. Be polite, but move on. Your objective is to connect with someone who has the same level of enthusiasm for the things you consider important.

Quality Listening Pays Dividends

Remember, others are networking too, and may be mining you for information and company intelligence. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but a quality connection is mutually rewarding. Sharpen your observational skills and take it slow. You will soon learn to pick up on even subtle cues that reveal the characteristics and attitudes that are compatible with your own. Similar ideas and goals are the hallmarks of those worthy of investing time and effort into for the long run.

What It's Worth

Quality trumps quantity every time. These are the people who will develop into valuable allies in your business world. A commonality of purpose, a genuine interest in helping each other, and an open line of communication are the elements of a relationship that develops from a discerning approach to networking. Establish a standard for including a contact in your circle of professional acquaintances; then do the work to build upon that initial meeting to become a colleague or friend. They become a resource for ideas, feedback and new business; their other contacts become yours by extention.

Be authentic in your interactions and you will find that it is proves useful and ultimately profitable. For more inforation on this and related topics, visit the Career Advice section of our blog.


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