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The larger the network you develop the
greater the probability of progress in
your career
Remember that the network is a two-way process.
You are there to help people on the network as much
as they are there to help you.
There is an old adage, ‘Business is built
on relationships’. When there is no
personal relationship there is no bond,
no loyalty and little to stop a customer
or employee defecting in favour of a
better deal. For example, I used to have
a relationship with my bank. This was
conducted through the branch
manager and his immediate team, whom I knew well. That
relationship was destroyed years ago with the advent of remote
banking, call centres in distant parts and the frustrating
struggle to communicate effectively with an understanding
human being. In destroying the relationship I had with the local
branch the bank destroyed my loyalty.
Relationships are personal and they facilitate good business and
good employment. Little progress can be made in a career or in
any job of work without good relationships. It means building a
network of contacts. For each contact there should be a mutually
beneficial relationship. You are more likely to get your computer
fixed if you have an excellent relationship with the computer
expert. Conversely you are more likely to put yourself out for
someone you know personally than for a faceless name’
extracted from a database.
A personal network
is an informal
mutual support
Once you’ve met a person face to face you are also more likely to
remember him or her. Any interaction then becomes
personalised. We human beings are social animals and few of us
want to rely solely on the computer screen for our interactions
with others. Internet products such as Facebook’ and
Friendster will definitely appeal to many but they can never
offer the reality of genuine acquaintance, friendship and
personal contact.
Individuals described as loners might well stick to their
technology and impersonal equipment for life’s satisfactions,
but those who make progress in their organisations and their
industries are those who develop an extensive network of
contacts who they rely on for help and guidance in time of need
as well as reciprocating as required.
The provision of references (or the use of referees) is just one
example of the value of networks. Few people get a new job
without the new boss checking out the successful candidate by
way of reference. When you have a wide network of contacts it
will never prove difficult to find two or three people who can
vouch for your prowess in a given field of endeavour. Another
example is when you need advice on a particular topic you will
know exactly who to turn to in your network to help you.
Similarly the network can be used for opening doors and
meeting influential people who would otherwise deny you the
time of day.
The advantage of an extensive network is that it can help you get
the job you want. You will become wanted because it will be
obvious that you know a lot of people in the industry or
profession. Your contact list will prove an invaluable asset.
Weave Networks
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Seize every opportunity to meet new people both outside
your company and within it.
Collect their business cards and always follow up to
reinforce the new relationship.
Career stimuli
The game is cricket.
The game is chess.
The game is competitive.
The game is your career.
The game has rules.
The game has unofficial rules.
At times you make up your own rules.
People who keep to the official rules are bureaucrats.
People who know when to break the rules are wanted.
It is the people at the top of their game who are

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