What Networking IS: The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines networking as “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically, the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.” (Definition found here). It is based on the premise of providing and receiving support; both parties profit from the relationship. The old saying goes without question “It is not what you know, but who you know.”
What Networking is NOT:
- It is not schmoozing or using/pursuing others solely for what they can provide you. It IS offering assistance and sharing knowledge, knowing that your contacts will gladly provide the same to you.
- It is NOT asking for a job. However, it IS a helpful skill when searching for a job. Sometimes, a job can find YOU if you know how to network!
- Networking is not a contest to see who can “collect” the most contacts. It IS a way for you to develop your interpersonal skills and create lasting relationships that encourage both parties to grow.
- A one-time, one-sided deal. Networking is a continuous, mutually beneficial relationship that (provided it is nurtured over time) assists both parties involved.