Networking becomes a dirty word

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… is the title of the Financial Times article linked below written by Neil Bearden.

Networking becomes a dirty word

Bearden states that too many MBAs view their network as some sort of unfeeling tool for professional advancement as opposed to a group of actual real live people with individual hearts and minds. I’ll let you read the article to fill in the finer nuances but to summarize: “Be nice.”

I’d take Bearden a step further though. He talks about showing respect when you utilize someone in your network for advice or a connection. I think the trick is being on the other side being able to provide advice and/or connections or SOMETHING of value to theindividuals in your network. Even better is to do it without being asked a random check-in or sending an article like this or something to let the people know you are thinking about them and their career or what-have-you. Then, when the time comes for you to actually use your network for something they are much more willing and likely to go the extra mile to help out.

Being able to add value to your network as opposed to just using it for your own gain is often overlooked.

Toby