Not that long ago, maybe a year or maybe two? (well, time flies way too quick), I was a totally Do-It-Yourself person that was living in the belief that everything could be handled on my own. I would not ask anyone for help nor for the precious advice, now I fully understand, I could not have been more wrong. Although some people have a natural enthusiasm for it —namely, the extroverts who enjoy and thrive on social intercommunication — many sensibly see it as fake, exploitative, and redundant. Right now, as far as I am concerned, I will always opt for the fact that networking is the key to success – whether you accept it or not.
As I recall, during the whole 2015 and not until the mid of 2016, I did not meet anyone who, later on, has impacted my personal life or my career. I definitely do not want to be too harsh on myself, but I know that I got stagnated a little bit for the particular period of time. No doubt, It just looks like I got trapped in the safety zone illusion. A story like million others, I had a stable yet rather reasonably paid job, there were some ups and downs, but it did not make my nights sleepless – none of that. I had a group of really close friends who I could really count on (of course I still can, these are brilliant folks – they never let me down). The funniest part of the situation is that you only realize that it had happened to you long after you managed to change it all , you never either feel the stasis or see its immediate consequences. It just sucks (trust me), but It may befall to anyone.
Mistake of Stagnation
However, last months have been so much, fortunately, different. One thing is that I finally changed my job, and now I feel appreciated and I have a feeling that my career has taken a proper path. The second part, perhaps even more important, is the discovery of how wonderful and helpful networking can really be. The first example that comes to my mind, If it had not been for Piotr Gankiewicz, who accidentally met Tomasz Korwin-Gajkowski in a train from Warsaw, I had not been able to take part in several Blockchain projects which can boost up my career. It must be stated that Tomasz is such an incredible source of information and experience in regards to the DLT/Cryptocurrencies technologies – it is a great pleasure to cooperate with him (cheers mate). It is always beneficial to know proper individuals, especially those who share your ideas and goals. At the specific time, you might think you are sure that you are going to do everything on your own, but reality is totally vice-versa, you barely ever succeed being all alone. Do not get me wrong, I do not neglect to work with no company, in some cases, it is inevitable. Michael Jordan had reliable teammates and staff members, are you saying that you are better?
A range of research indicates that professional interfaces lead to more job and business possibilities, broader and extensive knowledge, increased capacity to innovate, faster improvement, and greater status and prestige. Building and sustaining professional relationships also enhance the quality of work and boost job fulfillment.
Networking in Practice
I am still surprised how swiftly networking works in my new office. There is an unwritten law that you either call or meet in person, and once you are not able to do so, then you should write an email. As simple as it gets. And you know what? People really do that, they keep the doors open for each other. I have been in BBH for six weeks now and I have been totally amazed how many exceptional folks I have already met. One day I got made feel heavily shy, with no announcement, I was visited at my desk by a head of one department, and I could not do anything other than drinking up my protein shake;) She just wanted to say “hey”, and congratulate me on my first article on the BBH blog. Of course, we ended up having a long and absorbing conversation having a bit of fun as well. At the end of the day, we are all just human beings.
People around you = Mentors
The next aspect of networking is a constant process of learning. Each person you ever bump into knows something that you do not have the slightest idea about. No matter what, keep this in your mind. The trick is here, once you want to learn from someone, in the first place, you need to master the skill of listening. There are two books I would strongly recommend anyone who would like to work on that “How To Win Friends and Influence People” and “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie. Not exaggerating, you should look at them as your bible of networking. That said, however, it is still perfectly natural to have role models as adults – get a mentor or two. Organize regular sessions to imbibe the new knowledge and ask questions, loads of them. Learning from others should become a priority of yours. But do not make learning an explanation for not taking steps. What you should do instead is learn just enough, start taking action, and then keep learning on the go. Another two, often underrated, examples of studying others knowledge is reading and listening to podcasts. Make a list of your favorite auditions and blog – follow them for the particular period of time. In no time you will feel the extraordinary sense of attachment and affection to the authors.
For the Future
Networking is crucial, so is learning from others. You can never have enough of that, and more importantly, it will always come back to you. If you can listen with attention, you will be seen as a great interlocutor (it may sound bizarre, but that is the way it is). The virtue of willing to learn from others is that you will continue to stay open and zealous to listen which, in return, will draw others towards you which will also unlock up many new doors and backgrounds. Not only that, you will also discover that being a lifelong learner will also make you seem a decent teacher too so, as well as learning from the wisdom of others, you will often notice that you will also be in large demand from people who want to learn from you as well
Often times people miss opportunities to network because they feel intimidated, particularly if the other person is more senior. However, there is a very little downside when pointing high, other than a bruised ego from time to time. The worst that can happen is they say “nope” or disregard you. The world will definitely not end after that. As with anything in life, the more you put in, the more you will get out. So remember to designate noteworthy time and effort to your personal network.
Do not only take – give instead, listen carefully in the first instance – talk later.
PS. many of lifetime lovers met during the networking sessions. Shall you?