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Oct 8, 2013, look here
I'll be speaking at the Michigan Council of the Society for Human Resource Management (MISHRM) in October and that is exactly what I'll be telling them. Of course, if you aren't in Human Resources, this post has nothing to do with you. Just like most employees of large companies, if your work is almost entirely inward facing, then don't even bother. Why waste your time?
Oh, you're a contractor with your own business who happens to provide human resource services? OK, well, in that case, yes, networking might be of benefit to you. I guess you need to find those clients somehow. Maybe you'd prefer cold-calling? Otherwise, assuming you are an actual employee of your company, you don't need any networking skills.
What's that you say? You want to be in touch with the employees of your company? You want them to understand you can be far more for them than just the repository for annual review forms? OK, granted, those networking techniques might just help you make better internal connections. Of course, if the other employees just get in the way of you filling out your forms, then networking isn't something you need at all.
Wait a minute. You're tired of being surprised by new policies you have to implement? Sometimes you don't even get to have input into those policies? OK, maybe having connections with the decision makers might be useful. Developing relationships with them might also get you a seat at the table when they next discuss new policies. If you don't mind those surprises, though, and you'd rather just keep your head down and not draw attention to yourself, then leave networking to those who enjoy it.
Ouch. You know, with the uncertain state of employment these days, sometimes those who are unknown are the first to disappear. So, if you want to make your current position "recession resistant", maybe, just maybe, it might be a good idea to make connections with those who would be your champion should some "hard decisions" need to be made. Of course, your position is probably completely safe. I mean it's not likely that the leadership of your company could suddenly change and you find yourself suddenly "in transition", right?
Wait, it could happen? Well, I suppose having a strong network of people who care about your success might make finding that new position go a little easier. Of course, having an excuse to stay home and apply for one possible position after another can be fun, too. I'm pretty sure there aren't hundreds or thousands of people applying for those same positions. You'd find a new job in no time.
No, you don't need to network.
Of course, if you suddenly think that networking might be a good idea and you find yourself at the MI-SHRM conference on October 8th, 2013, I'll be presenting "Networking from the Inside Out" at 3:30pm that day. I would love to see you there!