It’s Who You Know
“Succeeding in business is all about making connections.”
Richard Branson-Founder at Virgin Group
A Steller Example
My friend, Scott, recently landed a great new job, similar role, but in a different industry. The whole thing came about through networking.
- A friend (networking) passed on some intel: the CEO was overheard joking about the fact that there would be a declining need for Scott’s department
- Scott probed internal possibilities and even auditioned for a potential role by taking others in that role to lunch (networking). He collected valuable first-hand data regarding the direction for which his higher-ups were steering him. He discerned that the internal track would not be a good fit.
- So Scott began to look outside of his firm, exploring a similar role in a different industry. A few months into the process, he got a call from a connection. They’d been part of an industry peer group together (networking). She invited him to apply for an opening in her department (networking). He took the new job.
In a world where trust is at an all-time low and information overload is at an all-time, networking is the key to navigating job transitions and finding new customers. Networking could be the key to your next, next.
Over the next several posts I’ll explore the ins and outs of networking and even show that the practice has some ancient precedent in the Bible.
For instance, we can never be sure which connection will be the one that leads to something significant, but we can be sure that non-connections won’t lead to anything!
Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days…In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good. (Ecclesiastes 11:1,6)
My Networking Journey
- I’ve had 10 jobs over my lifetime and each one has come through networking.
- I’ve done 3 startups, all have grown through networking.
- 2 years ago I transitioned from the far-flung suburbs of Philadelphia to the heart of New York City. I found my current role through networking and for the last 2 years I have consistently met 100 new people or more per quarter.
- Part of my present job involves managing a portfolio of almost 90 funders and all of these relationships came through networking.
How About You?
If Networking could be the key to your “next, next,” what is the next step you need to take?
About the Author: Dr. Chip Roper writes Marketplace Faith from New York City, where he is the director of Marketplace Engagement at the New York City Leadership Center. Chip aims to end what he calls the “stunning silence of the church regarding life at work.” He is convinced that a central piece of God’s plan for any city or community is the work that people do each day. You can learn more about him here. Chip is available for speaking, consulting, and coaching engagements. Inquire via his email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pic: Used with permission, https://www.flickr.com/photos/atosorigin/7822101134