Don’t Call Me When You Get Fired
Don’t call me when you get fired!
That’s what some people in your network might be thinking. No, seriously it is.
You see most people think that just adding someone to their network is enough. Hey we met once, let’s connect on LinkedIn. We hung out a few times let’s be Facebook buddies. I am marginally invested in you so let me follow you on Google +. They proudly look over their network of connections and think they’re really connected. Like they’ve really done something.
Delusional party of one.
The reality is all those countless number of connections you’ve made are just that, connections. Unless you’ve taken the time to really get to know someone and invested both time and effort towards building some type of relationship with them they are only that, a connection. And my friend, connections aren’t going to be there for you in a pinch.
I know someone that speaks a great deal about the power of networking. Their intentions are in the right place and their message even makes sense. However when push comes to shove, their approach and advice about building one’s network is playing the numbers game. The more connections you have the better off you’ll be so they encourage people to build big networks.
Sadly their own reputation has suffered for it. Recently I was at a social event where this person’s name came up. I listened as several people who know this person personally and professionally slammed this “networking expert” for their own insincere approach to networking. They laughed about how this person only deems you important only if you have something like another connection they need then that’s about the only time you hear from them. One person even remarked that every time he sees this person he asks about his daughter when the guy only has a son. These people aren’t true connections to this individual nor does it sound like they ever would be.
What if this person had approached building a relationship with them differently? Not treated them as just a connection and actually invested time and effort in getting to know them personally rather than raping and pillaging them for what they might do for them professionally.
Networking for the sake of networking doesn’t work. Networking isn’t a numbers game, it’s a people game. It’s about finding, making and building relationships with good people that you want to surround yourself with. And it’s through these relationships that business and job opportunities naturally flow but only if you’ve taken the time to stay invested and in touch with them.
If you don’t build the relationship the right way don’t expect any of your “connections” to return your call when you really need something….like a job.