As a professional career coach I often advise people to build up and maintain a network as it will help them find a new role or start a new business venture faster. I consider myself an effective networker (online and offline). I really enjoy connecting people and I often bring people together who would not have met otherwise. Even two Twitterfriends in Islamabad suggested I was helping them getting engaged J.
Still recently in a bleak moment of self-doubt I asked myself if I had overrated the power of my network and wasted my time helping others. Then I looked back at my past year and all the wishes that I had sent to the universe:
1) One business contact recommended me internally so I got my first big contract that pays my rent now.
2) One of my best friends introduced me to another friend who rents out an office to me now. My coaching lounge is ideal: quiet, discrete and looking into a green garden. We have our own entrance and I have a „colleague“ I can have a chat with when I feel like taking a break.
3) The same friend sent me an announcement for an apartment that led me to the apartment I moved into in November. A dream place and even though it is Zurich I got it.
4) Through networking I found all the trusted partners and consultants I work with in my company.
5) As part of a women’s network I get to meet wonderful women across the city and these connections inspire further ideas.
The only surprise that did not come through a network was the man of my dreams. He just saw me and said: „I have been waiting for you.“ Seems not everything in life can be done through networks but a great deal of it. In the professional world though I feel it is essential no matter whether you work in a large organisation or run your business. In some cultures such as the Chinese culture the network is even seen as your capital. What I have also learnt is that as your network grows you need to slow down your pace as otherwise you will not be able to keep in touch.
What is your experience with networking? Please like if you agree that networking has helped you a lot in the past.