“Reaching where you want to reach with the help of people who have reached is the most effective forms of networking”
Next time you hear a traffic policeman being yelled at by a robust appearing thug or even a smart young man saying, “Do you know who am I?” or “Connect me to your SP, I will have a word with him.” Remember, that person either said it just as a figure of speech to avoid a traffic fine or he really has good contacts amongst higher authorities thus, mastering the art of networking. Or if you suddenly hear one of your colleague screaming with joy for being appointed on a better role and job position with a reputed organization, remember he or she may have had created a better professional images either to the higher management or just a good rapport with them.
Networking, or having good contacts! What does it really mean? For a sales or marketing person, the art of networking is considered one of the most important factors contributing to generate maximum sales or for political leaders, networking and keeping good contacts with the people and his higher authorities will take him to a higher level where he wants to see himself. Not only that, networking is very much an important component which very much helps us when in need and keep a good relation with people we know and people yet to be known.
This element, so-called networking is being ignored or considered unimportant as we are happy and satisfied where we are, that is our comfort zone. When a person is at his comfort zone, he may ignore the notion of further expanding his network of people or even deny the possibilities of maximizing his contacts of people. Little did he realize that maximizing the network of people will come in handy when he is in need. Therefore, In this age of technology it is very important to enlarge our network of people not only to remember them when we are in need but also to increase our knowledge, ideas and also maintain the network of decent and like-minded people with whom we can be associated with and have a prolonged relationship as a friend, business partners or any other relationship one is comfortable with.
According to me, We are exposed to three main levels of networking which are explained below.
Personal/Leisure Networking: This networking type is important for one’s own fulfillment of personal needs. We can use leisure networking to meet new people with same taste, likes, thinking and hobbies. The most obvious examples and mode of leisure and personal networking would be Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and several other social networking sites. But one should be careful enough to not mix up personal networking with others as it may lead to one’s problems in life and also the limit of using leisure networking should be considered in order to avoid any harm that may affect our life as a whole.
Professional Networking: This type of networking is mainly important for your professional and career growth. It helps us grow in terms of our thinking, our capabilities and our professional abilities. So it is important to emphasize on professional networking in order to grow as a professional and success in our field of profession. Professional networking will allow us to meet other professionals or experts in the same field for knowledge exchange, sharing as well as for inspiration. Most common platform for this would be LinkedIn, Vaideo and other professional sites and forum.
People Networking: This is the third type and the also a different form of networking which doesn’t take us to the cyber world. I called this people networking because in this, we get to interact manually and come directly face to face with people without any virtual assistance. People networking would be having good contacts within the community, society, places and one’s physical environment. This can deliberately be the most important and most effective means to network with people who can be of help to us when we are in need. A friend, an ex-colleague, or a person we look up to and have a great rapport with and maintain good contacts with will be a good indicator of a person having a good network of people who can rely on him and also who he can rely to. As mentioned in the first Para, the person who shouted at the traffic policeman may be a person with good people networking which is why he has good contacts with renowned people in the society/community.