The Power of Networking
I define networking as meeting people you don’t know with the purpose of making more friends, business contacts, and building professional networks.
Networking does not mean hanging out with the people you know all the time.
Networking isn’t one of those things you can learn completely out of a book. It’s like learning to ride a bicycle. Sure you’ll be wobbly at first, but it’s interesting that to maintain balance you can’t stand still. You have to move and create momentum in order to stay balanced on a bicycle. It’s the same with networking. You can’t stand still and not go talk to someone. You have to get out of your comfort zone and just say, “Hi.” You have to throw yourself out there and trust you will survive.
If I can do it, you can do it too.
I’ve met resistance from people when I tell them about the benefits of networking. They would argue that close friends and connections are enough. While having close friends are important, people who are not used to networking cannot understand the tremendous value of networking because they have never done it and have never seen the amazing results that come from networking.
People who like to stay in their own comfort zone with their close group of friends do not understand the power of “Weak ties”. Weak ties are the people you see just occasionally in a year, maybe once or twice a year, and you don’t see them on a regular basis. When it comes to finding a job, it is well documented by other authors and articles on LinkedIn that “Weak ties” have tremendous potential to helping you with your career. This is because your close group of friends likely has the same circle of people as you. This really limits the amount of people you and your close friends know. However, “Weak ties” are generally outside your close circle of friends and so the number of people they know can be quite significant.