marketing and sales executives from Silicon Valley

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dodgeball and Hot Dogs for Professional Networking

A friend was promoted recently, and while that may be somewhat interesting in this bad economy, there's a networking nugget or two in her experience worth highlighting. It was a reminder to me about the power and potential of casual networking, even within an organization.

The situation was this - my friend, I'll call AK, volunteered to help with her company dodgeball and a hot dog eating contests, basically team building exercises. There was no additional compensation for helping, just a chance to help employees interact and bond on a social level outside the normal work structure.

The event was well run, and during the course of the event several people complemented her on her efforts and organizational skill. One such person happened to be an executive who believed in fun and the value of team building. It turns out he had sway within the organization. He asked her about how long she had been the company and what her goals were. A few short weeks later, my friend's boss and boss's boss heard about the 'great job' my friend had done, and soon after that she was notified that paperwork for a promotion was in motion.

Now why is this story important? Does this showcase anything but luck and serendipity? The point of this story is that it's just one of several I remind myself of when people talk about networking. Networking is not about being a mercenary and seeking out the people who can benefit you, it's about participating and engaging with others with similar interests and making the most of the relationships you develop through them.

A wise friend once told me - "It's not what you know. It's not who you know. It's who knows and trusts you." By putting herself in a position where her organizational skills, penchant for fun, and dependable demeanor, my friend created an opportunity for a beneficial relationship.

No comments :

Post a Comment