Having a strong and vibrant network brings access to resources, political intelligence, friendly support and, frankly, enjoyable and rewarding relationships. In many ways, success is likely to be short-lived if you haven’t got the support of a network around you.
The actual activity of building your network is really about using your social skills to make new connections, contacts, and friends. It is about moving these new relationships from the original task-related connection into a more rewarding longer-term personal relationship.
Many books have been written on the subject. These mainly focus on the interpersonal activities and how to find opportunities to build connections. What most of them miss is developing a purpose, strategy, and the planning needed to build your network. Our research has identified that although most people are getting to grips with networking, what they lack is strategy. This means that people are often attending events so they can “network”, but feel they are wasting much of this time because they have not yet worked out why they are doing it.
Our purpose here is to help you explore these gaps so that you can ensure you are making the most of your precious time.