“It’s not who you know, but who knows you”
Recently there has been quite a few layoffs around the U.S. due to the declining economy, which has companies somewhat forced to downsize and eliminate many jobs. An e-mail came across our server a few months back, reporting over 5,000 stores across 67 companies that were going to be closing. You don’t need to do any math to realize the amount of jobs that will be lost due to this economic strain. Getting through an event like this should be just as easy as find a dentist to remove a tooth. However, systems have not been set up to prepare for events such as this. A survey done last year concerning this topic released an astonishing result. 1,500 hundred people were surveyed about their ability to pull from available resources, such as contacts, in the event of a layoff or being fired. Less than 2% of the ones surveyed even had a single number to call, resulting in heavy paper reading, and job search site activity. Who would you call?
The key to moving up and getting through hard times is building a network for which you can bounce off of during these times. Like that tooth that is bothering you, you must be able to have someone to call to fix it. You must have just as many career resources as you do medical resources. Your financial situation is just as vital as your health, and in some way can even diminish your health. So it is important to start building, and managing a network, no matter how prosperous you feel you are currently.
One way to start is to build your brand, and establish you, as a product or service. You are always marketing your services to the highest bidder, but you must know how to advertise those services. Start taking inventory on your skills, and what you have to offer. To be successful at networking you must know what you have to offer first, before you can ask for anything. Integrity is a big factor, you must build your reputation.
Keep a notebook of your contacts, and periodically keep updates on how everyone is doing. Keep the relationship going, and do that by keeping in contact. The most vital factor of all is to not be afraid to meet new or different people. You never know when they may be able to help you.
You must also be prepared to give, and do not just take. Integrity.
When you build you network, and establish a good reputation you become known, and that is the ultimate goal in networking, If you are known for your work, and reputation, when downsizing does happen, not only will you possibly protected, but someone outside who follows the news will be able to pick up on it, and will give you a call. It happens all the time; you just need to work for that point.
Remember, always work with integrity, because that is what will build you the best reputation, and during these hard times, it is your reputation that will carry you through.