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Of Relationships and Networking

September 12, 2008 Leave a comment
A couple of days ago I read a post on the ISB Class of 2009 blog. It talks about a major challenge in networking – that of leaving your comfort zone and venturing into the unknown – walking up to a complete stranger and introducing yourself.

Well, that might be the way networking is established in the Corporate world. But I am sure that is not the only way. I do have my professional network, but the majority of it has developed through introductions and references.

To take an example, a few weeks ago a friend’s colleague’s relative was about to travel overseas and needed some help. My friend sent out an email to his contacts, and I pitched in with whatever information I could gather. With this, I was “introduced” to that friend’s colleague. Since I treat him as a potentially important network connection, the onus then shifted upon me to keep the contact alive – by enquiring about the relative, sending a worthwhile article once in a while, even by just saying “Howdy”.

The important fact to note is that networking operates much like relationships. You should give all you can, without expecting to receive anything. Then, when you are in need, you will find a lot of people willing to help.

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