One of my favorite concepts, which I was recently reminded of, comes from Phil801 who wrote a blog post back in 2006 titled Social Networks and Corporations. I wrote a post with my thoughts about it here, on July 5, 2006: What’s your value-add? (Robert Merrill write a follow-up post here, from a recruiter’s perspective)
Here’s the idea: if you have a network, can you bring value to a company or employer (or project or client) by bringing your network in? Imagine these two scenarios:
Scenario 1: Your company has a problem which is perplexing everyone on the team. Everyone has been so busy working for the company that they don’t have any contacts they can comfortably tap into, and they keep trying to solve the problem without getting outside help.
Scenario 2: Same problem but your team has been trained to expand their network and nurture relationships with their contacts. This is a part of the culture at your organization, and no one (read: bosses, management) feels threatened that you are spending time with others in the industry outside of your company.
Here’s my proposition for you: DO NOT WAIT FOR AN EMPLOYER TO MAKE IT OKAY TO HAVE A STRONG, NURTURED NETWORK!!
Maybe your employer doesn’t “get” networking. Maybe they are threatened by you having industry contacts. In my case, I think I didn’t network when I had a job because it seemed wrong (like I was cheating on my employer). I think it would have been fine, but I had a lot of hangups and assumptions.
I wish, oh how I wish, I would have gotten past my misunderstandings and issues and networked. Real relationships would have helped me in my last company, through my job search, and in my current role as business owner.
Career Management 2.0 is the new reality, and networking and relationships is a HUGE part of it. Even if your company doesn’t “let you” do it on company time, do it on your own time, and bring value to your company!
#FavoriteFriday: What’s your value-add?