548: Networking Organizations

A Thousand Things to Talk About
548: Networking Organizations

Do you belong to any professional networking organizations?

Full episode script

Networking. When you’re looking for a job it seems to come up a lot, but networking is a heck of a lot more than just making connections in hope of finding a good job. Networking can also be one of the most powerful tools in your toolbox no matter what you do. For stay at home parents those connections can be essential for sanity. In professional positions, social connections can help you grow, develop, and find opportunities that might be, but could also extend far beyond, just a job.

In other words, networking is nothing more than creating strong social networks — IRL or digitally.

Ivan Misner, in Entrepreneur Magazine, outlines five different types of organizations:

1: Casual contact networks, usually general business groups that allow many people from various overlapping professions.

2: Strong contact networks: Organizations whose purpose is principally to help members exchange business referrals

3: Community service networks: in the course of giving time and effort to civic causes, you form lasting relationships that broaden and deepen your personal and business networks

4: Professional associations: The primary purpose of a professional association is to exchange information and ideas.

5: Online and social media networks

In all of these types of networks, judging which networks might be worth your time investment could be challenging. Heck, even in my life I could name at least 10 different local and online networks that I could be a part of. So which ones should you invest your time in?

I would argue a good place to start, at least for formal networks, is taking a look at the makeup of the group. What should you look for? One opinion, as quoted in Forbes, is:

Research from IDEO and Stanford University identifies the ideal make-up of a network: “Part pack-rat, part librarian and part Good Samaritan.” The pack rat brings documents and resources collected over a long career that can be tapped to create new ideas and connections; the librarian brings the latest data and pertinent information; the Good Samaritan, though, might be the most integral player—she’s there to help out at every turn. According to IDEO this combination is the best balance of resources, information and good intentions to make a network not just functional, but beneficial to all members.

This script may vary from the actual episode transcript.