Networking & Connection

Aaron Akpu PhilipThe VaultLeave a Comment

On a certain Wednesday morning of September 2016, I was summoned to the office of the students’ accommodation where I was staying at the time. The conversation below ensued between the manager and myself;

Manager: Hi Aaron, our system shows that you owe us £**** (a huge sum- notice it’s in three zeros)

Aaron: Yes, I know. Give me till next week please. I hope to have set up my bank account by then.

Manager: I am sorry, but we have given you enough time already. This payment is due by 1pm today else we will have to rethink about your staying here (that meant eviction; they do have a very polite way of saying the meanest things. Lol)

I felt lost. It’s a new place and there is no one to help (or so I thought). Then it hit me! I remembered a friend I had volunteered with in the past (refer to my post on the power of volunteering). I reached out to her explaining my ordeal. Unfortunately, she was broke at the time. I set off for lectures; prepared for the worst.

Few hours later she called to say she took an emergency loan from her bank and this settled my rent (Oh! Bless her!)

Did you catch that? Let me repeat. SHE TOOK A LOAN ON MY BEHALF!

Why do you think she did it? It is simple: I am part of her network. I networked with her professionally few years back and today she took a loan to settle off my rent.

Leveraging on the people you know professionally and/or personally to increase your chances of obtaining favours, jobs, admissions, etc is called Networking.

The dividend of networking is what we refer to as having “connect” or “connection”.

Literally, when you network, you get connected.

How many times have you thought it impossible to get that job or admission because your father is neither into politics nor rich? (refer to my post on the “The Fake Online Opportunities”)

Do you know that the politician can get his child admission/job not just because (s)he is wealthy but because (s)he NETWORKED?

Let me put this in perspective…

Have you ever gotten a reduction in the price of a commodity simply because the seller acknowledges your buying frequently? (I am sure you can relate to this?). What you often do not think about is that you got the cut in price because the seller is already a part of your NETWORK.

Truth is, we ALL have a network no matter how small or large. All we must do is strive for its growth.

Sadly, many of us have all social media accounts (LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp etc) but have failed woefully in using them to build our network.

People you meet at seminars, workshops and even in your everyday life could be a part of your NETWORK.

You are not incapable of networking with the Vice Chancellor of that institution or the CEO of that company.

Besides casual chats on different social media platforms, have you searched through your friend list to make introductions and establish genuine networks? Perhaps it’s about time you had a rethink.

Today, there are offices I can walk into without an appointment (because I networked) despite my father being of a low social class (Oh! He is dead so my case is terrible🤣).

When you network, you WORK less and achieve more because the route becomes shorter.

Reflect on these:

1. Do you have a working network?

2. Is your network positively impacting on you?

3. How can you improve on your networking skills?

I’d like to think of networking in this light:

We all own a NET, simply make yours functional by putting it to WORK; its functionality will be reflected on the fishes (opportunities) caught…NET-WORK

#AAPTalks #CommunityDevelopmentWorker #Aa2Zi

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