5 rules of effective networking or “Never eat alone”

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We all know that valuable contacts are really important when it comes to finding a great job, almost irreplaceable. However, it´s important to work systematically on the net of contacts. It won´t just appear in front of you. In his book Never eat alone, Keith Ferazzi describes in detail everything you need to know about making up your own net of contacts. Here are 5 netoworking rules from this book:

1. Make up your own network beforehand

Start now! Don´t wait till you are jobless and relying only on yourself. You have to create a network of co-workers and friends before you really need their help. People are more willing to help you when they know you and like you. The most important is to know these people and perceive them as friends and not only as those who can help you or who are your “potential clients“.

2. Don´t be an annoying groveler

Be courageous! Address powerful and well-known people, don´t be afraid to talk to them, but be aware of the following:

  • don´t grovel where, in reality, nobody wants to meet you
  • always talk directly; purposely talk about a sensible topic with a set aim; always get to the point quickly
  • be open, be yourself and don´t avoid more controversial topics; having your own opinion – even if it is different, is always valuable
  • always try to offer something – help or any piece of information; don´t try to get to know somebody just because you need something from him or her

 3. React to other people´s needs and problems

Help your friends even if they don´t ask you for it. Try to solve their problems or, at least, try to direct them to somebody who will help or advise them. Don´t think only about your own success but also on how all those around you could reach it.

 4. Keep your relationships healthy and working

Remember and write down the names of people you met. Make notes on what you talked about so the next time you meet them again, you can start where you had finished. You must develop and maintain good relationships. It´s not enough if you send a Christmas greeting to them. Organise parties, offer them a coffee, lunch or just spend some time with them. Find the interests you have in common.

 5. Be interesting

Learn to analyse various trends, be expert in what you are doing and try to be perceived as an expert. Work on your continuous education and on your personal growth. Dedicate 80% of all your effort in improving your strengths and 20% in your weaknesses. This is the way how you will be  inspirative and enriching for anyone you meet.

I fully recommend the book Never eat alone to all those who have a feeling that they are falling behind in developing and maintaining the relationships and they´d like to change it. When you open it, you will find a number of examples, common mistakes but also a lot of great tips for oyur successful developing and maintaing work relationships.
Michal Vernarský
(student of psychology and successful Challenger)

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