Networking is hard working

For me, networking is my second nature, something that comes almost naturally. Of course I had to work hard on my network and to be honest I still do. On a daily basis! Networking is not collecting contacts. Networking is about planting relationships! It doesn’t work if you approach it in a selfish way. I sometimes get the comment that I am “the Godfather of networking” and for the people who know me, that puts a big smile on my face.

Networking is hard work. Networking is the way to get clients, find a new job that really suits you, brainstorm with experts or get in touch with like-minded people. In addition, it is useful to build a good network around you to also keep abreast of changes, trends and information from the market. This way you can better respond to the needs of (potential) customers. Networking is good for your career and it increases your possibilities!

Getting a promotion or an interesting assignment: no one has ever succeeded just by working hard. Hard work is a prerequisite, but how you fit into the group, strategic thinking, networking, cooperation: these are much more important factors for a successful career.

You have to realize what you are worth to the company. If you have no confidence in your market value and are not convinced that you are doing what is expected of you, then there is absolutely no point in putting in extra hours. Because you won’t be noticed by management anyway, and you can forget about that promotion or raise.

If you climb the hierarchical ladder and get promoted or a raise, you don’t sit sweating behind your desk day and night. No, these people know how ‘it’ works. They know how the company works, they network, they know who the decision-makers are, they can make what they do visible, … In short, they increase their influence step by step. They learn from the important people in the company and create the perception that the company needs them.

In today’s society, you almost stumble over the networking and cooperation forms between many different parties. Yet few people know how to shape such a relationship in a sustainable way.Teams and networks are quite opposite entities. In a team you work together towards a goal, while you depend on each other to achieve that goal. A network does not always connect through a common goal, but through a relationship, profession, task, identity or theme.

Have you ever mapped your network? Do you have some insight in who is close to you or do you have a favor factor with the people you consider valuable for now or later? Do you know what qualities, interests, areas of expertise and experiences the people in your network have? Are you already investing in these people? If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, then it might be relevant to think about it and do something with it. It is very useful to know what your network looks like, because only then you can discover who can strengthen your network. This way you have a much stronger view on what your networking goal can be.

It is one of the best kept secrets in the business world. People are not hired and promoted just because they work hard, but because whoever is deciding on them knows them and feels he or she can handle the job. It also counts that the relationships within the team should be as good as possible. If you just sit with your nose in the books and concentrate solely on your work, you will get the opposite of what you want: more interesting work and the opportunity to show what you have to offer.

Pablo Fabrizio Valle is an Amazon bestselling Author, Engineer, and Entrepreneur. Among his peers, Pablo is known as The Godfather of Networking. He is the founder of two successful networking organizations. He stated Networking doesn’t work often times because people approach it in a selfish way. People are always in it for themselves and see how they (me, I am, I do, I can …) can GET more business rather than be of SERVICE to your new connection. Yes, rather than SERVE (help) your new connection!

So get out from behind your desk and “waste” some time. Make a business lunch appointment, don’t rush home after work, but go to a get-together. Invite a colleague, your manager or an interesting business contact and play golf together. About 5 percent of your time should be spent maintaining working relationships. If it’s less, you’re not doing something right. And if that feels uncomfortable at first, remember: networking is work, too.