Network Is Power
Now a days, what you know is no longer the only thing that matters. Often, it is who you know and who know you for real that matter.
Never think that if you are bright and hardworking, you already possess everything you need to succeed in life and in your career. You are mistaken. You need other people. You need network.
Your network refers to the extent of your association and relationship with other people and/or groups. However, it is not only about the number of friends you have or the number of organizations you belong to but the quality and consistency of your relationship with them through time.
Andrea Corso, a career and leadership development coach and strategic HR consultant, with over 15 years of HR leadership experience inside Fortune 100 companies, describes networking as follows:
“Networking is about building relationships. It is about finding people from whom you want to learn, who can help you with your career, and also whom you can help. It is a give and take process that requires effort, not only to establish the relationship but also to keep it going.”
Today, most experts agree that networking plays an important role in the context of career moves. It is not enough that we have good work experience and skills. We need good references and referrals. Lacking a network could compromise our chances of finding a good job. Moreover, there are many unadvertised job openings which our networks can bring to our attention if we maintain our communication with them.
Break-out opportunities can happen in your network: My little story
A friend of hers invited Rocelle for a meeting. A CEO of Canadian mining company operating in Zamboanga del Norte was looking for individuals to conduct a human rights audit for his company. As a human rights advocate, Rocelle got interested in the project. Moreover, she suggested that they invite to the team her college professor and mentor who is a well-known human rights expert in the Philippines and abroad.
Rocelle’s team of human rights experts and advocates completed the audit. The CEO was very pleased about the results of the audit and offered the audit Team Leader a position in his company to champion its human rights policy.
As these events were taking place, I was beginning to get listless in my job. Lying on my bed one Saturday afternoon, thoughts of resigning from teaching filled my mind. I was feeling a sense of urgency to venture outside the four walls of my classroom to find something deeper to sustain my curiosity and a better income to support my family.
After that moment of contemplation, I sent an SMS to Feliece, my former college professor and mentor and told her that I have decided to quit teaching. I thought she would reply saying she was shocked, but to my surprise she said, “Good! Meet me at my condominium tomorrow.”
At her condo the following day, Feliece signed me up as a part of a team she was putting together for the mining company. I was the first person that came to her mind for the position of Information, Education and Communication Officer of her team. The rest was history.
Feliece was the professor whom Rocelle recommended to be the Audit Team Leader of the human rights audit of the mining company based in Zamboang del Norte. It was the same Feliece who was employed by the CEO of TVI to form her own team to institutionalize the human rights policy of the company. And it was the same Feliece who brought me in this company.
Because of that network, I got absorbed in the mining industry and quadrupled my income. As my salary rose to 400% higher than what I made in teaching. I also became experienced on Corporate Social Responsibility, which is a strategic position in most private firms these days.
I am thankful that I maintained my communication with Feliece even after graduating from Philippine Normal University. Whenever she needs a facilitator for some of her Human Rights workshops, she brought me in. In one of these workshops, I met Rocelle. And again, the rest was history.
Indeed, in this time and age, career networking is a must. By growing your network, both friends and acquaintances, you are attracting breakout opportunities for your professional and personal growth.
5 Tips on Building and Nurturing Your Networks
This list on how to build and nurture your network have worked for me, and I pass it along to you:
- Live in different worlds, but make your stay in all places worthwhile so that when you leaved, you will be missed.
- Go out and be visible, but be humble. Be talkative, but be credible.
- Always find time to meet your friends and former colleagues.
- Greet your friends and colleagues on special occasions. Keep their numbers.
- If you are new to a company, reach out to your colleagues. Ask them for an advice on what it is like to work in your company and what it will take to succeed in your new job.