Building a Stronger Network – With Work or Life in General

In response to a blog post by Journalistics entitled “Build a Stronger Network”

I’ve always agreed with the statement, “It’s all about who you know.” However, not until I started looking for jobs and internships did I realize it’s about how you know who you know that makes the most difference.

Jeremy Porter suggests some great tips about how to build a stronger network. These are some of the points I agreed with most:

1. Deliver Value – When it comes to having a conversation with someone new, my ears and eyes perk up when something of value is brought to the table. If someone is informed about something that I’m not, I am instantly engaged.

2. Don’t Judge – I firmly believe we’d all have more sincere relationships if we stopped judging others every day. First impressions are hard to escape, but we miss out on the opportunity to grow into a relationship if we cut others off short based on a rough one-minute first encounter.

3. Look in the Mirror – There’s this poster at the student rec center that I read nearly every time I see it that says, “Be Aware of What They are Telling You.” I’m reminded how important it is to check in with yourself and make sure that your intentions and your actions add up to what others are receiving.

4. Keep it Fun – It’s really hard for me to be entirely myself if I can’t relax and have a sense of humor. I think it’s crucial for people to be as true to themselves as they can when meeting new people, while at the same being able to keep a check on the level of professionalism if needed.

5. Build Relationships When You Don’t Need Them – There’s no reason to not always be on the lookout for new connections, or to at least be open to building relationships when the time presents itself. You never know when those connections will come through in the clutch.

6. Say Please and Thank You – I love when my roomate goes out of her way to say please or thank you even when borrowing my headband. She even leaves tiny notes saying “thank you for listening” after a long chat – it makes me feel really good and I always appreciate the thoughtfulness.

7. Be Sincere – My friend once said, “Jenna, that was a very genuine thank you. It made me feel good,” in response to a compliment she gave me. I will never ever forget it. Knowing the way that I said thank you could change her attitude like it did has made me conscious of my please and thank-yous ever since.

8. Everyone is Important – Wise wise advise! I love Jeremy’s example: The barista at Starbucks could be working towards getting her MBA and be your boss in five years. It is so true, it’s a small world we’re living in and and everyone really is connected. Never dismiss anyone or assume somebody is not relevant to the relationships you are looking to build. Treat people with respect or shoot yourself in the foot later.

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