Whether you’re in the accounting business, the packaged-food business, or the design business—the truth is you’re in the people business. Business is all about people and relationships. Networking has been a well-known business practice for decades, but the term has become so clichéd that many underestimate its value. That’s a shame, as networking can make or break your professional success.
If you haven’t yet set up a LinkedIn profile for online networking, make that your first priority. You should also join several relevant professional associations, attend their monthly meetings to make new contacts, and volunteer to be on their boards. Don’t have time for all that? Then prepare to be passed over for people with better networking skills. Like it or not, success often depends on who you know.
In this week’s first management tip, I’ll tell you about networking inside your own organization. Get your networking feet wet with the folks you already have something in common with at work. Whether through a brown bag lunch session, after-hours socializing, or just a concerted effort to seek out new lunch partners each day—you’ll find your company is full of new connections if you’re looking for them.
The second tip this week focuses on understanding organizational politics. The better networked you are, the more efficiently you’ll be able to navigate the political waters at work. Watch this week’s Management Tips to help you put a fine edge on your networking skills.