The importance of Networking in daily life and during a recession
Prof. Liora Katzenstein
Globes (The Israeli equivalent of The Financial Times) announced the closure of the Arielli advertising firm, once the leader in the Israeli advertising market. The article indicated that the CEO asked himself, “Why could I not make the company flourish?” and immediately answered himself, “I neglected the business feature known as ‘networking’. I didn’t make enough use of my personal and business connections to develop the firm.” Contrary to popular belief, networking is not the same as “Protektzia” (nepotism, favoritism), using contacts to gain promotion. Rather, it is an approach that supports cooperation and giving without the expectation of an immediate quid pro quo. Some of you may see the links between this statement and various spiritual theories, and they do exist.
It is well known that we should start develop networks as soon as possible in our professional career. It is unnecessary to add that it’s not a good idea to start developing a network when you have no work and you are desperate.
The good news is that all of us have networks, even if we aren’t always aware of them. These are the people that we know from our neighborhood, the schools and colleges we attend, our leisure activities, the IDF, etc. In other words, nearly every personal interaction can form the basis for expanding a business network, whether at the workplace or at associated events such as conferences and trade fairs, professional events, and even social and family get-togethers.
It’s very important to nurture and strengthen such contacts. For example, send cards on holidays and birthdays, relate to written information in areas that interest your contacts, and help them to develop their own networks.
How do we use a business network? If you’ve managed to develop a network based on genuine relations with people, you should feel comfortable contacting them and asking for help: finding a job or a house, help with social contacts.
At ISEMI we are great believers in the importance of business networks, so we hold a monthly networking meeting with a relevant guest lecturer.