The Opposite of Networking is Not Working.


I network and speak on networking often.  I included a truism that somebody sent me years ago in a recent blog I wrote on The Currencies of Networking.  It was that “The Opposite of Networking is Not Working.”  My thanks to the person who sent me that a few years ago.

I think it created a light bulb moment for a few people who seemed to enjoy its simplicity and its truth.

Yes the Opposite of Networking is Not Working.  If you don’t network your career as well as your life is not aligned.

You see people don’t network just to find gigs or jobs but to be engaged with people to connect with life.  I have always preached that networking is about an Attitude of Engagement versus going to events.  The more you connect with life the more fulfilled your life will be.

I tend to live in a number of worlds often engaging with people who work and those who are looking for work and others that work for themselves.  I meet with many people who have been employed for a long time.  They don’t network. They certainly aren’t ready to be fired and would be lost if they were.  More importantly I believe if they don’t network they aren’t very well resourced in a world that changes at uber speed.

Not networking during your career is akin to not working out in life.  You quickly get out of shape.  You risk losing your edge.

Most people that don’t network tell me that they don’t have the time.  What they don’t realize is that they will not know what to do with all the time they will have on their hands the first Monday morning should they ever lose their jobs.

What they also don’t understand is that their investment in networking will result in them being better resourced and quicker to solve problems and that will save them very valuable time on the job. The quicker you solve your projects the more you will be acknowledged in your organization.

I guess in the end people who want to succeed will recognize that networking and working are one and the same.

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Watch his video on “The Power of Networking.”

13 thoughts on “The Opposite of Networking is Not Working.

  1. Thanks for this Hank. When I made a conscious decision to integrate networking in my professional and personal life, I had a rude awakening… I was, like most people, in a bubble on a branch somewhere off in left field! Yes! There’s a bigger world out there than our comfort zone. That bigger world, I discovered, offers limitless opportunities for personal and professional learning, growth and development, and all the other things you mentioned in this blog.

  2. I’m not a natural networker. I like people well enough but I’m not terribly social and I tend to compartmentalize — I don’t think of friends as contacts and have a horror of “using” relationships. It feels like asking for a favour, which goes emphatically against my upbringing. That said, tapping my networks after my layoff in even the minimal way I feel comfortable with has made me realize that I actually have a good reputation in my business and that people are willing to speak for me because I’ve been a fair dealer with them. It hasn’t resulted in a job, but it’s been a tremendous confidence-booster. What I realize I need to work on is getting out there when I don’t need a job. As Camille says, it’s a big world and if you just stay where you are you see only a small part of it.

  3. A Still Gray

    Really helpful and insightful. I had always thought of networking as WelcomeToMyLayoff did – I felt shy about talking about anything remotely connected to work and hated the idea of “using” friends as “contacts”. During this last go-round, however, I surprised myself. Instead of overthinking it, I just sucked it up and reached out – and found that it was perfectly easy for someone I knew to help me get my resume in front of the right person. All I had to do was ask! It was such a small shift in my perspective, but the impact was profound. Just by asking that person to help me get farther in the process, I got an interview, and I won the position I wanted. Now, I look for opportunities to meet new people and improve my interconnections – it has made such an enormous difference in my professional and personal life. Thanks for writing.

  4. Thoughtful piece Hank, however I do believe though that the word “networking” is tired and needs to be replaced with something more dynamic that speaks more to the all-important “call to action” and less to the network.

    Life is so busy and time so precious these days it’s hard to justify going to networking events or spending time networking just for the sake of it. We need to meet authentic people who are working towards a shared meaning. Where we feel that every minute invested is leading towards personal and collective growth.

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