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Make Your Network Work for You

When it comes to your career, don't expect your next promotion or job to be the result of good fortune. Instead, you should "create your own luck" through networking, says Judith Perle, co-founder of Management Advantage.

Perle has spent the last decade helping people network more effectively. She's witnessed countless successes, including the example of Kay, an MBA student, and Anne, a business development professional, who connected over a shared interest in art and culture at a conference in Vienna. Several months later, when the pair crossed paths again, Anne invited Kay to lunch and eventually offered her a job.

This wasn't luck, chance or providence, Perle explains in a recent blog post. It's simply what can happen when you stay open, engaged and receptive to the power of your network.

With that said, you shouldn't go into a networking situation focusing on what you can gain, writes Perle. "If you're seen to be selling [rather than just networking], people are likely to slam that open door in your face... hard," she warns.

Perle also recommends practicing patience because relationships aren't created overnight. "They take time to develop and trust needs to be built up brick by brick," she writes.

"In short, networks are about people," writes Perle. "Talking to people, helping people, getting involved in their lives... and, ultimately, also reaping the rewards that those relationships can bring."

Perle will speak in depth about the power of networking at the CASE Europe Annual Conference, 28 August-1 September, in Birmingham, UK.

This article is from the August 2017 BriefCASE issue of BriefCASE.