Why Network

Social NetworkI am often asked “Why should I network” during training sessions on Networking.  It is a simple question with an answer that can change the way you interact with others and the way you live your life.  Below is a summary of my answer, the powerful truth of why you should network…

“Networking is about you, not about a company.  If you are a project manger, the projects you work on will stay here when you leave. If you are an engineer, the designs you work on will stay here when you leave. If you are an accountant, the money you work with better stay here when you leave.  However, one of the few things that you will take with you (and that your company will loose) is your relationships, also known as your network.  Due to this, your network will be and is one of your most powerful tools.  Let’s look at two extremes as an example of how networking plays a role in everyone’s career:

Last Laid-off

Time and time again strong networkers are spared during layoffs, not because they are top performers, but because they have something many top performers don’t have.  Take this example:

An executive in the midst of an economic downturn was faced with a problem: he had to lay off one of two people:  The first was an incredible performer with a knack for completing projects on time and without errors.  The second was a good performer with a network of relationships that was bringing in over $1 million dollars of work into the company.  Who was laid-off?  Time and time again we see that most executives will protect the welfare of the company by keeping a good performer that can bring work in the door over an incredible performer that isn’t bringing in work. 

Think about it, who would you lay-off?

First Promoted

Your network not only protects you, it also reminds management who they want to keep around.  Because of this top networkers are also regularly the first promoted.  Take my story:

I have been in the construction industry for less than a decade.  I am honored to work with great friends (that’s right, most everyone in my network I consider a true friend) that I am blessed to be able to help.  Because I help them to be successful my friends take my calls and regularly work to help me in return.  As a result, my network of friends have helped me win hundreds of large projects for my company (Thank you very much!) and opportunities have opened that resulted in several major lateral moves during my career.

If you want to advance your career, do everything in your power to bring work, solutions, and answers into your company.  The most effective way to do this is through Networking: Continually helping others and building a close group of friends to whom you purposefully focus your help.  I know that my company would survive without me, but I have the satisfaction that I am doing everything in my power to make our company succeed.  When you try to live your life to help others and your company, you are learning how to build a successful life!”

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8 Responses to “Why Network”


  1. 1 Jean-Victor Côté February 23, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Indeed, leaving a job without a contact network to find another one is like jumping from a plane in flight without a parachute.

  2. 2 John Poole April 6, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    Great insight. The bigger your network the bigger your value. We are only one individual that can only do so much. If we have others that are effectively working to help us, what we can do reaches the sky.

  3. 3 Tim Klabunde April 7, 2009 at 7:37 am

    John-
    Great point, it is through helping one another that we find real success. It is great to have your thoughts here at Cofebuz!
    Tim

  4. 4 Dan Hudson April 15, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Great article Tim!
    Networking has always been a valuable tool in the sale arena but companies exhibiting strong growth are using it in all facets of their business. Expanding their portfolios, broadening their delivery capabilities, and opening in-direct sales channels are just a few examples. By reaching out through our networks we collectively improve our ability to compete.

  5. 5 Tim Klabunde April 15, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Dan-
    Great thoughts! I especially like your addition of “in-direct sales channels” to the topic. I have found that these relationship based transactions tend to be not only more profitable than direct sales, but also yield a greater percentage of repeat clientele. Great to have you join us at Cofebuz, I hope you will continue to share your insights on future posts as well!
    Tim

  6. 6 Dan Hudson April 15, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Will do Tim,

    Do you mind if we quote you in our own blog? I would like to share some of your thoughts with our readers.

  7. 7 Tim Klabunde April 15, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Dan-
    You are more than welcome to. I was just reading your blog and I was impressed with the great information and resources. I look forward to staying connected.
    Tim


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