Today I want to talk a bit about what I'd call "Next Level Networking." I think this is particularly important for people just starting out in their careers.
When we think of networking, we tend to think about it as:
"Who do I know where? If I needed a meeting somewhere, or something from some company, who would I contact?"
That's networking in its most basic form.
"Next Level Networking" takes it one step further. That's when you ask:
"If my contact at a company left that company, who would I still know there? Would I still be able to work with that company?"
If the answers are "No one" and "Maybe not," then it's a good connection, but not a great one.
I'd suggest going through your contacts at the companies that are most important to your career, and trying to flesh them out a bit. Ask for introductions. Learn a bit more about that company.
For one thing, it's a good networking insurance policy.
For another, you never know what kind of relationships, ideas, or even deals can spin out of meeting even more new people.
It's amazing to me how readily young people will essentially meet new people on social media, or dating sites, but then the same people are shy about growing their professional network.
I think that's a case of misplaced priorities.
What about you?
Is your network varied and deep? Is it next level?