5 Times My Personal Network Worked for Me
I’ve been thinking about the value of networking lately. And I’ve realised that we all already have well established networks that work for us, but we don’t realise it. This made me think that I need to be more deliberate about who’s in my network so that it works for me in the ways that I need it to. This is one of the reasons we’ve organised a YouTube Live Q&A with Mpume Langa about networking; it was also a request from our Level Up Network. Anyway, I thought I’d share some of the ways my network has worked for me to highlight that networks are already at play, benefiting us in different ways to get you thinking about your network:
Sales for My Businesses: In my business ventures, my network have acted as my customers and clients and also referred more business to me. For example, when I was part of a home decor and interior design company, one of our first biggest clients was a friend that I had met at work. Most of the people who purchased or solicited from the business were people we already knew from our friendship circles, family networks and from work.
Job Referrals: I have had a couple of calls from ex-colleagues who were either in new positions and companies where they identified roles that they thought could interest me, or who were approached for jobs and for some reason couldn’t take them and asked me if I were interested. Although I did not end up in those positions, it was great to have those options and be exposed in the job market.
Meeting My #WomanCrushWednesday: I am a big fan of a local South African businesswoman, and I got to meet her a couple of years ago at an official State event. The event was open to the public, but because the person the event was honouring is family, I sat where the VIPs sat and got to meet her, hug her and chat to her a little about how big of a fan I am haha. And now, I have approached her to be a mentor for the Level Up Network. In my first discussions with her Executive Assistant (EA) about getting her to be a mentor, I referred to that day we met, which I think influenced her EA to give me the time of day. I would have never met her if it wasn’t for my family network.
Preferential Treatment: This, I think we all benefit from, whether in big or small ways. Have you ever been to a packed funeral, and the food queue was really long and seating was short, but then your moms friend came through for you by either letting you jump the queue or skip it altogether and brings the food to you at the table she organised? That’s preferential treatment my friend, because of your moms network which you consequently benefit from. I’ve had many situations like that, I even got to hang out with Joe Thomas and his band because Mpume Langa somehow managed to arrange that.
Dates: Yes! Some of the best dates I have been one were a result of my personal network - meeting someone through someone you know. And when that has happened it’s actually been a friends boyfriend’s friend, I hope that makes sense.
As you can see, personal networks can be beneficial in a variety of ways.T o learn more about how to network successfully, in a way that helps you reach your most pertinent goals, please join us for the Q&A with Mpume this Sunday at 1pm. See you there!