Networking: Nuances of an Artform

We’ve all heard the adage about being successful – “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.”


Before I even knew how the dynamics of personal relationships worked in the professional world, I understood that having them was important. As a recruiter and being in a business which defines success by your ability to find the best qualified candidate for our clients and their environments, it is mostly about who you know!


Admittedly, I am not a Power Networker nor am I that into art, so coming up with a whole blog post about this may seem like a stretch to those who know me.


However, what I do know and would like to share is that there are a multitude of approaches to networking that will lead to successful professional relationships. Nuances to an artform, if you will.


Every person’s taste is different. For some, the idea of networking gets them excited – there are social events every night of the week filled with Power Networkers, pressing palms and making small talk.


There are more social media sites and outlets to help with networking and making connections. For those people who can make the most out of all of these tools and events, more power to them.


I don’t have the desire or the energy to attend multiple events each week but I can appreciate the value of it for those who do!

My approach to networking is a little different and a lot simpler: I try to help where I can.


I’m sure my Inbox is no different than anyone else’s. I get calls and emails from friends, former colleagues and even people I’ve barely met asking for some help.


Questions such as:

– Do you know John Doe?
– Do you have any contacts from ABC Company?
– Do you know anyone that could be a fit for this?


Ultimately, saying no and moving on would be easy but I’ll leave you with this food for thought:


When I think of networking, I think of being willing to help someone without the expectation of reciprocation. To take the time to help when you may get nothing back from it other than a genuine thank you (which usually is the best return anyway!) is usually the type of networking that goes the furthest and ultimately will reciprocate itself when it’s needed the most.


My point is simply that when it comes to networking, everyone’s style and approach is different. There is no right or wrong and the end result is that you will get out of it what you put into it.


Whether you have an event booked every other night or you spend a couple minutes at the end of each day returning an email to help make introductions and connections; networking is a powerful tool and one that should not be overlooked!