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Networking helps provide knowledge to do more with less

Less, in this case, could be fewer people in your department, less money in the budget.

My favorite networks outside the workplace are
-- connections not associated with my job. They are the people with the same interests or hobbies and you may be in a club focused around that interest. They are the people you volunteer with. They are from structured groups such as a service organization or faith community. They are former classmates, previous coworkers and friends.
--professional colleagues across the country, around the world. They are the people you meet at meetings and conferences who work in jobs that somehow relate to yours.

Underlying these networks is the quest to keep learning
Education and experiences are quickly out-of-date in the knowledge economy. Lifelong learning is vital. It can be through online learning or conferences. It can be in reading trade publications or books. It can be in organizations not related to your work if you’re willing to think how you can apply their concepts or ideas.

In a 2006 list of ‘The top 10 biggest networking mistakes’ author Harvey Mackay lists
“8. It probably isn't just your network that's aging; it's you. Unless you make a genuine effort to keep updating your technical skills and knowledge, your network is shrinking.”

You need humility to admit all you don’t know. You need courtesy and respect to reach out to people in your networks. You need good listening skills, good communication skills. That’s civility.

Here’s another list of top networking mistakes
OfficeTeam, a temporary staffing service for administrative professionals, surveyed 613 of their employees in 2003 and found these top networking mistakes:
1. Not asking for help when it’s needed (37 percent)
2. Not keeping in touch with contacts (25 percent)
3. Not thanking people for their help (22 percent)
4. Burning bridges with past employers (13 percent)

Networking is essential in today’s workplace. Do you have additional ideas about good networks?

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