If you link your career success to one boss on one career path, your career portfolio will have limited assets. It is the equivalent of buying one lottery ticket in hopes of hitting the jackpot.

Networking is a better approach that can broaden the number of people you know, the number of people who know you, and the number of opportunities you are presented during your career.

People who network are more likely to advance by better connecting the dots to a successful career. Networking is the key to developing relationships, differentiating yourself internally, and expanding your career opportunities. Networking builds your social capital. I think of social capital as the value created based on reciprocity, trust, information and cooperation within your social network.1 Networking was crucial to me as a junior person in professional services, and it is just as critical to me today. Networking can benefit you at every point in your career and can lead to finding sponsors who can change your career trajectory.

Few people understand how to network effectively and many regret not networking as seen in Figure 5.1. There are many good books about how to network. I like the book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz that provides practical tips about how to leverage the power of relationships and networking to thrive in business.

Figure 5.1 Take the Networking Fork

Even though there are a lot of networking books and people ...

Get Unequaled now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.