Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Networking Tip: Do Not Create Friends, Create Advocates

What if every person who knew you becomes an advocate of you instead of a friend who will never recommend your work to a potential recruiter, which he happens to meet every day.

Imagine you had a talk with a person in a public meeting.  You discovered that Mr. X has skills related to excellent web design and has interest in sports.  Next day you went to meet with a project team and discovered that you need a web designer.  Since you had a nice talk with Mr. X he comes immediately to your mind.  And you recommend him.

This is what I mean by an advocate.  When you had a chance you advocated for Mr. X.  Imagine everyone in your network is going to meet someone  in the next couple of days who needs to market their products.  Obviously they will need someone to do that.  If you are the marketing person looking for a job then all the people in your network should be lobbying for "YOU".

That is your advocacy group.  The Challenge is how you can create a fire among your friends, relatives and everyone whom you will meet during your course of life, who will recommend you.  That fire which a sales person possess, who is very desperate to sell your portfolio.

The top B-Schools exactly teach this.  The single biggest advantage of going to a Top Ranked B-School is "Networking".   Even if you just drop out after one year from Harvard still you will make a fortune if you diligently invest in networking.

Get it right.