“Sometimes it’s the individuals outside your immediate network that end up offering the advice you need to propel your career forward.” – Fortune Magazine
I read an article where the President of the New York Stock Exchange had said, he owed every job he ever had to networking. The statement alone speaks volumes. I sat back and thought about every job I have ever held and how I ended up ultimately getting the position. It was always through someone I knew, or a connection I made.
At Epitec, the main focus of the roles I have held has been about building a Network. When I walked out of every meeting, event, or even lunch, I would think about conscious reasons as to what the obvious benefit would be. How important would continuing the relationships with the people I had met matter? It would only take one person to pass my name along to someone else, which created a trickle down effect to the success I have had either in Business Development or as an Account Manager.
The most important thing I would say in regards to networking, is to not limit it. It doesn’t matter if someone is inside or outside of your industry or spectrum. If they are interesting and influential, be willing to commit time and/or resources to meet, connect, or help that individual. The most successful people I have met, have had the broadest range of network spanning industries, locations, and occupations. Sometimes it can be individuals completely outside your immediate circle that end up being a connector that propels you forward at a crucial point in your career.
Networking has even impacted my life to the extent of my Mom handing out my business cards, which ultimately enabled me to build relationships with some other individuals within Johnson Controls. I was able to meet, and find out information from employees I would have never known otherwise.
I like to say AIM HIGH. Often time’s people miss opportunities to network because they may feel intimidated, especially if the person is more senior. There is very little downside when aiming high. The worst that can happen is they say “no” or ignore you. At that point, it is onward and upward!