Hipolito Navarrete, Managing Editor/Publisher
There are some truths about networking that most folks would much rather not deal with, the first one, is that networking is a must, the second one, most folks do not like it, the third one, most folks are woefully unprepared to do it. Unless you, through family or education, you already have a group of folks that would speak to you and offer opportunity, and if you do, what are you going to say to them?
You can and should read as much as you can about strategic networking, but make sure you continue to develop and enhance the skills that you already posses, and how they benefit the particular work that you will do. We have created an environment where hyperbole rules the day. A bombastic personality will attract enough attention that it can gain credence just because it creates a space for its mouthpiece to have a platform, but it may not last if it does not possess the elements necessary to deliver the product it promises. Unless you are at a family gathering or hanging with friends, and may be you should still, ask yourself, why am I talking to this person? What do I need to know about her? What does she need to know about me? Unless you know the reason, you are wasting your time. Is there an opportunity to follow up with this person if you are interested in continuing the conversation at a later time, or is this the one opportunity you will have?
The primary rule of networking is that you know yourself…. as a business partner. What part of the organization are you hoping to be a part of and what would you like to do there? What type of organization do you think best fits your goal? Once you identify an organization type, is one particular organization that best fits your style? Do you know what your style of working is? What skill sets do they require for you to be proficient at in order to be considered for employment? If you don’t have them, where do you think you can acquire them? How much time would you need to acquire them? What is the minimum required education would they require you have?
Yes, these are many questions, but in order to get you prepared to network, you need to know where you are at this time. Unless your father can give you a small sum of a million dollars to start a business, fail at it, and be rescued again by your father, you better get a reality check. The good thing is that it is your choice, so start when you are really ready to go….. and that should be now. If you feel that you want the ultimate opportunity to expand and extend and become the ultimate businessman, then entrepreneurship may be your calling. You just need to be ready to develop your networking acumen one hundred times more.