Networking: From Safety Net to Trampoline!
posted on May 15, 2008
Being in a position where you have no network is like not having a safety net. There's nobody there to catch you if you fall. The early stages of networking are like building a safety net. These are the critical relationships where if you misstep or faulter you have a support structure to help you get back up on your feet and moving in the right direction again. This comes through friendships, mentors and other meaningful networking relationships with people who care about you.
If you're serious about networking then the safety net is just the start. The smart ones among us build that safety net long before they need it. Sadly many realize they should have been networking and building their own safety net after they've already fallen, and it's too late. Most frequently this happens in a layoff or other job loss situation. If you've been building relationships in and around your industry then it's easy to bounce back. If not it generally takes significantly longer to climb back up to where you were.
Over time as your continue to strengthen your safety net through deeper more meaningful and broad based relationships your net not only grows stronger, but begins to develop some bounce to it. It's at this point that your network isn't there just to protect you from whatever life throws your way. Now it's creating opportunities.
Before the networking safety net was built a fall resulted in a major set back, not to mention some major bumps and bruises. Now the strength of your safety net more resembles a trampoline. You're able to use it to gain alititude and move to the next level through promotions, increased sales or upward job transfers.
If your network is weak start building your safety net today. You never know when you'll need it, but work hard to strengthen that network and you'll quickly find it will take you to new heights.
Author: Scott Ingram