Over the last year I kept running into someone at networking events that I used to work for. He had been the CIO of the last company I worked at as a full-time employee prior to switching to contracting and starting my training business.
I would see him every couple of months at events and we would say hi and spend few minutes in general conversation.
I saw him again a couple of months ago at a CIO awards luncheon hosted by the Charlotte Business Journal.
By this point we were like old friends. We hugged, I asked if he’d been enjoying the lake in the community where he lives and made general small talk. Then he asked me what I was doing these days and I told him I owned a training company that focuses on delivery training to business analysts and would-be BAs.
Now, keep in mind that I had told him that before but people are busy, they aren’t necessarily going to remember those things if it’s not related to something that’s currently on their radar.
Now pay attention, this is why you should network…
A couple of days later he called me – and he had to do some work in order to do that. He didn’t have my contact information (my mistake was in not offering him a business card). He called a previous co-worker that he knew and asked her for my number.
He was now working with a company that was helping to provide business analysts for a project at another organization and he wanted my help. That never would have happened if I had not been at that CIO awards luncheon. This turned into two lucrative deals for me – delivering BA services for that project and we are also working on a partnership regarding training their employees.
Networking will help you build connections so that when you need them, they are available. Even if you aren’t actively looking to make a career change, you most likely will be at some point.
If you are actively seeking new employment, get out from behind the computer. Talk to people, network, and develop relationships.
Whether you use them now or later, those connections will eventually pay off!