Building a strong network can help you get ahead in life. It gives you access to a lot of opportunities. It also helps you develop yourself personally. Building and maintaining a good network also helps your collaboration skills.
Chidi Okereke (@chydee) did a thread on Twitter about the “value of access” to opportunities, contracts, gigs, etc. See thread below:
I 100% agree with Chidi. These days, it is not enough to do a “fire work” or write a “mad proposal”, you need connects to get your foot in the door faster than your ‘competitor’. You’ll likely get a job/deal through who you know rather than through your education or experience. So you need to be vocal about your interests and career goals and most importantly build relationships.
All these are important, no doubt but guess what is more important? Or like they say, “importanter”? “Building lasting & valuable relationships and sustaining them”. That is to say, it is not enough to get access, very important is not to ruin this access. How do you achieve this? By not abusing or let’s say misusing your access.
I saw a tweet today, asking that someone do a thread on why people should not abuse access. This was a response to Chidi’s thread (mentioned above). See tweet below:
Networking makes you more visible. You wouldn’t want to cut short this visibility by abusing your access. You have to be strategic in dealing with your ‘contacts’ (as they call it). There are many reasons why you should not abuse your access. These includes:
The doors will close
One benefit of access is that it helps you move two or three steps forward. It gets your foot in the door faster than you could have, if you relied on your ability. One of the reasons why you should not abuse your access or networks is for future opportunities and also so that you can help others.
If you abuse the access given to you, you would be closing the doors for future opportunities and this would also affect other people’s chances. It could be someone you know or not. Imagine a situation where you had a problem with your ‘connect’, the person would not want to engage you again, worse he/she might also close the door to other people because “once bitten twice shy”.
Shutting down access to new ideas
Another benefit of access is that you get to meet other people, there are chances that you’ll exchange ideas and learn from each other. If you abuse this opportunity by maybe stealing the other person’s ideas to ‘get ahead’, that will be the end of a valuable relationship. It takes you back to ‘square one’, thinking and trying to figure things out on your own.
Your access can get you a deal faster but one thing you don’t know or maybe you know is that they are putting their reputation on the line for every recommendation they make for you. If you abuse this access by not meeting up the requirements, you are going to ruin the reputation of the person that recommended you and even your own reputation.
Let’s say you bid for a contract and your network in said industry, helps you get the deal. You are expected to meet their expectations, deadlines, etc. because if you don’t or maybe present a low standard work, the person that recommended you would be in ‘trouble’, same as you.
You will lose a resource bank
Your network or contacts in any industry is mostly someone or people that are always ready to answer your questions. They are like your “google in the industry”. If you abuse your access to them by calling them incessantly because you need information about an opening or a contract, you can put them off. You don’t want to be the one that they’ll see his/her call and hiss. God ‘safe’ you because if you get to that level, you are gong to lose a resource bank.
You will lose an influencer
Your access gives you more visibility like I already mentioned. If you ruin this access, you will lose an influencer.
So it is important to have access if you want to get ahead in your field/career. More important is that you should not abuse this access because there are consequences. N