Talent and effort matter for professional success. But what matters more is that the gears of the machine are greased with favouritism. It is about who you know.
This situation is not necessarily pessimistic. Building connections is just as important in building a career as the work you do.
Since relationships impact performance, it would not be unfair that some opportunity would come through connections.
Technical proficiency is only a small part of success. The other more important aspects are being trustworthy, timely and easy to communicate with. Employing a recommended contractor means that you know better what type of person you'll be hiring.
Networking is not just for the extroverted personality or the natural charm. Many of the best networkers are somewhat introverted.
Three core traits can improve your networking skills:
We have a deep-seated longing to meet and befriend high-value people, such as celebrities. We desire to associate with people perceived to be higher value than ourselves.
The biggest step to improve your networking ability, is to be higher value. Some strategies include:
Everyone wants to network with people who can help them. However, it's much better to focus on who you can help.
Being generous is about anticipating what others might need and reaching out.
Be eager and willing to meet new people. Building connections will not happen when you sit at home and hope for someone to reach out to you.
Meeting people face-to-face is very valuable, but internet contacts can also be helpful. Being sociable is most useful when you don't need a favour.
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