Networking – Done Right

Today networking is an essential part of every successful business. It depends on who you know and what advocates you have. Personal recognition and reputation are the most critical factors for getting a desired job or being promoted.

But acquiring new contacts can be quite difficult. So here is everything you need to know about about Networking, how it works, and why why off-line-contacts can't be replaced by any online network in the world.

Why would I need a Network?

Today only one in every third to second job offers is still being announce publicly. In many industries, such as media, arts and culture, much depends to a great extend on ones business connections. Contracts, projects and jobs are awarded to people who are well known and trustworthy. Especially for self-employed, contacts and networks are essential for their survival.


Networking basically is a term for building up and maintaining personal and work related contacts. Part of the network are, for example, your neighbours, colleagues, family and friends as well as people sharing the same interests like movies, fashion, sports and so on. Based on these common interests also new contacts – personal or work related – can arise.

How to successfully build a Network?

The starting point for a network is usually a private person or a company. Based on this point, the network branches over direct contacts such as family or colleague as well as further contacts. Every additional person in this network can, in turn, connect with family, friends and colleagues. Also contacts of second or third degree, for example the "contacts of the contacts", can yield in professional or private advantages.


Within a network, there are so-called "agents". These are people who gather a lot of contacts. Who knows several such agents, whose network is almost automatically larger, because these agents act as multipliers and allow contact with many different people in a relatively short time.

How to maintain the Network?

It doesn't matter if it's family, friends, professional contacts or chance acquaintanceships, experienced networkers have many contacts. And their number is constantly increasing. However, meeting new people is utterly useless, without maintaining these contacts, since the network only yields in advantages for both sides when the all participants are active. This does not mean that you have to write each week, but networking is not a one-way street, but a constant giving and taking.


Due to the Internet, global networking has become much easier. Special online platforms such as Xing, LinkedIn or Facebook (, often provide overview of contacts of second and third degree. This makes it possible to expand the network quickly. However, the sheer amount of contacts has one essential downside: the network becomes more complex with increasing size. Some contacts may be lost because they are neglected. Networks often regulate themselves, as they exclude inactive contacts over time. So make sure you have a decent smartphone to keep track of all of your contacts. It doesn't have to be the latest model. Instead you can get a cheap used one on my favourite website for classified adds

Social Networks and Business Networking

In sociology a "social network" is a network of social and family relations. My boyfriend's friend is my friend. Many social networks on the Internet are working this way. Nowadays the trend goes towards local networks. Their purpose is to bring together people from the same city. Identifying the same members in the different circle of friends or acquaintances is seen as common ground.

Giving and Taking

However, Networking did not just arise due to the Internet. Even centuries before the global networking through the Internet, businessmen have built networks and royal houses arranged weddings to gain advantages from these connections. This resulted in useful private contacts as well as new perspectives. Even nowadays job fairs are offering lots of opportunities to expand a personal network. Such events serve not only to contact graduates, but also to exchange personal information between the individual companies. If you plan to attend on of these fairs, pay attention to your appearance. Make sure you grab a nice, fashionable suit. A descend second hand one is fine though. The website has good and cheap ones available for sale.


Another possibility to establish social contacts is offered by service clubs like the Lions Club, the Rotarians or the Round Table. In these associations, executives gather to conduct contact management and exchange ideas. Often they also engage in the social field. Through joint activities, these clubs create a basis for productive networking. These service and business clubs unite members from the same industry as well as from different sectors. In service clubs, the members discuss topics of current relevance and organize lecture series or seminars. This is not just a pure exchange of common projects, but also a form of further education.

If you are more interested in this topic, make sure you check out some books on