Power Networking

by Marc Kramer
McGraw-Hill, 160 pages, $9.22

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Networking is the life blood of a job search and one of the main ingredients to lasting success once you’re in the workplace. Power Networking combines common sense approaches with tried and true techniques that will yield results for those interested in taking their networking to the next level. “Prior to the 1980s, the most successful people were paid for what they knew, not who they knew,” Kramer writes. “That all changed with the break-down of the long-term one-company career.” In many fields, employers want to know how well connected potential hires are. For better or worse, the emphasis now is on who you know, and the best thing to do is accept it and work to succeed within this system.

Kramer notes that 80% of the time the person who gets a job knows someone at a company. The main theme of Power Networking is that networking is more than a way to find a job – it’s a way to keep your job and a way to excel in your career. He lists ten keys to being a great networker then examines each one in depth. Among them are:

  1. Dress appropriately and get to events early
  2. Never start a conversation by talking about yourself
  3. Keep your conversations short and focused
  4. Always send a letter to people you want to know within two business days following a meeting

Many already incorporate networking into their day-to-day business activities, but it doesn’t hurt to sharpen skills that may need to be re-focused. Kramer reminds that the reason you attend functions with speakers isn’t really to hear the speaker, but to meet new people. He urges professionals attending functions to make it their goal to meet five people each hour and not to commandeer a person’s time.

Especially insightful are Power Networking’s observations on networking at different levels of corporate culture. Professionals are encouraged to make every effort to interact with higher ups at casual gatherings, and the under-utilized strategy of listening is stressed. Additionally, Kramer lists networking organizations to join and Web sites to frequent during a job search. The beauty of this book is that everyone from vice presidents to recent college graduates looking to get into the workforce will benefit from the instructions and examples provided here.

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