Unfortunately, so many people are clueless as to effective networking. It is one of those important life skills that, regretfully, are not taught in school or college.
effective networking is a skill and, as such, can be taught.
(I have been teaching this skill to high-end professionals for some time).
Rather than pontificate about my own beliefs about effective networking let me recommend three of the best books I have ever read on the subject. All three are first rate. Before you invest another hour on networking, I strongly recommend that you read one of these three books. The two hour investment in reading through any one of the books will pay huge dividends.
My very favorite book on networking is Click, Ten Truths for Building Extraordinary Relationships by George Fraser. George does a great job of explaining the philosophy of "giving" that is the foundation for success in networking.
A close second is The 29% Solution, 52 Weekly Networking Success Strategies by Ivan Misner. This book is solid on the philosophy and very strong on the action steps needed to build a powerful network.
I hate to rank one of the three as "only" my third favorite as Jeffrey Gitomer's Little Black Book of Connections is well done, as are all of Jeff's books. (I think his best ever is his latest, Jeffrey Gitomer's Little Teal Book of Trust.)
No matter how badly you believe that you need to get networking immediately, please take the time to read one of these three books before you go off building a network like an amateur. Better yet, don't just read one of the books, implement the strategies! Become a master networker!! And, not just until you get a job. Power networking is all about being a giver, and that is something you can be with or without a job.
Many, many years ago, one of my mentors, Zig Ziglar, drilled into my mind
"you can get whatever you want in life if you will help enough others get what they want."Commit, today, to live this philosophy for the rest of your life and you will prosper, no matter how difficult the times.
Coming Next: Building a Network Before You Need One, the third in this three part series on networking.