Monday, 19 february 2018 | Brenda Rodríguez López
Entrepreneurs who try to boost their business, young professionals who are looking for a job, managers who want to establish contacts abroad, inexperienced professionals who need help, ... There are many people who use their contact network to progress in their career. Coworkers do not just sit by their side in the office, they are also outside the building. Networking is a strategy of professional push increasingly necessary in this changing environment. How to find those "partners" from outside of work and why?
Surely you have heard about the theory of the six degrees proposed by Frigyes Karinthy in 1929, a hypothesis that the Hungarian writer exposed in his story Chains about the connection of all the people in the world through a chain of contacts with no more than five intermediaries and only one acquaintance. Duncan Watts, professor of sociology at the Columbia University, developed and completed this idea in his book Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age. According to this research, thanks to new technologies and just six "jumps", anyone could send a message to another person in the world.
New studies like the one carried out by Facebook have reduced the number of degrees needed in this equation even more, the distance between two strangers is now a little more than three contacts. It is difficult not to establish a relationship between this theory and networking and meditating on about the potential that the network of contacts can have in the future of any professional career. A proof of this is the peculiar project carried out by Michiel Das. This young Belgian marketing specialist lost his job and had the idea to monitor the journey of his business cards. What began as a small experiment was the great momentum leverage that allowed Das to get a dream job in a period of uncertainty and affected by the crisis.
Do you take care of your "coworkers" from out of work?
Teamwork, comradeship or respect are key ingredients in the labor relations. A good work environment is a symptom of the good health of a company. As a general rule and with a few exceptions –the workers that are suffering the "burnout" syndrome, demotivated workers or bullies– most professionals try to take care of the relationships that they establish at work. However, many of them covered by the excuse of the lack of time, need or utility, forget about the care and maintenance of their contact network outside.
The labor world is immersed in a process of continuous change driven by the digital transformation, what yesterday was impossible today is common. Not only the environment changes, the professionals themselves are witnessing the metamorphosis of the work concept that is now more flexible and independent but less stable. Those who introduce themselves today as their collaborators, friends or acquaintances, tomorrow can be their clients, employers or suppliers. The relationships we establish outside of work can serve as a push tool in the future.