In an excellent article, Christopher S. Penn shares strong thoughts about getting through the upcoming economic downturn. It’s part of his Awaken Your Superhero series; a read I highly recommend.
A strong focus of this particular article is about networking. Here’s a great excerpt.
Having a strong personal network is more important than ever. Not just a strong network, but a large one, one in which you participate and try to help as many people as you can and ask them to do the same. With so many social networks and digital communities, this is easier than ever. A strong network will provide you with information you’ll need to make decisions, and will also provide you with leads if you need a job, etc. as long as you bring as much or more value to the people in your network. The key is to get building as fast as possible. Reconnect with old friends, establish new friends. Attend conferences and other meetups, such as PodCamp, BarCamp, MacCamp, etc. that are free or low cost. Look for opportunities to help others.
I definitely agree with him. My current and growing network of online contacts has brought me not only casual friends, but folks that have actually helped me deal with personal issues as well as technical. They’ve provided me off the cuff advice as well as the practical kind. Most powerfully, they came together recently to raise over $8000 dollars for the family of a young lady who died in a car accident. She was a contact of many of us.
Do you just have to network online? No! You can begin your networking with your next door neighbor, or the guys and gals at church, and even, yes, with people at work. One way to network at work is to honestly listen and be interested in projects and people even if they can’t contribute to your work or projects. They’ll remember that.
Do go and check out Christopher’s full article here, and after that, get out and network!