Etikettarkiv: networking

Networking yourself [to a new job]

I’m following this Coursera MOOC on “International Leadership and Organizational Behaviour”, #ILOB and I quite enjoy it. Although I don’t really know about the academic endeavour and value with these classes new learning is always positive.

Today’s lecture is about the Impact of Social Networks on Organizations and Groups, it speaks about different types of networks – strong vs. weak, closed vs. open etc. But I wonder, does it (= networking) work? And if you find yourself in a surrounding aka network and you’re the odd man out what good will a network be to you? In my own situation e.g. it is no secret that I’m looking for a new job and that I come with a good experience and competencies to execute in the jobs I apply for. Only I seem to exist in some Boy zone, that is Brussels public affairs in IT, and even if I turn over backwards I will never be male so I literally don’t fit in. This is not a criticism, it is stating facts of human nature, I believe that the correct academic term is Homophily, i.e. we bond easier with people whom are similar to ourselves. But with result is that unless we dare to go outside the famous box our network will look as ourselves. From a sheer business point of view that while a closed network like this will offer good ways to collaborate, higher trust etc., closed networks like these will also see lack of innovation, high redundancy in competencies and so on. Of course, I understand that there are two in any connection and I am entirely open to the fact that I’m the weak spot in any [future] relationship. Then the question is – what does that say about me? Maybe I haven’t invested enough in my network? Possibly. Like so much in our lives networks are earned, it could be that I haven’t earned my network. On the other hand none of “my” contacts have just landed in my lap.

I’ve always been a firm believer in “keeping shut and getting the work done” and that this will eventually pay off in more interesting jobs, tasks and better remuneration. Yes, I admit there are limits to my altruism and both the landlord and myself like the concept of paying the monthly bills in full, every month. An old-fashion concept I know, but one that I like because well, it works. But no, not so. Apparently I have to look at my wide network as a strategic asset. Dear me, these a people I’ve passed a good time with having coffee or so, but now they are suddenly an asset. I find it all a bit disconcerting, because while I don’t mind helping out as much as I can myself when someone asks for help I dislike the notion of being an asset. And if I dislike this it is easy to assume that so does my counterparts.

So while I understand that No Man is an Island I’m remain a bit uneasy of the concept of regarding my fellow human beings as assets. And to balance the giving and taking. Or am I maybe over thinking the art of networking?

On-line cross-cultural networking – tricky, difficult and delicate…

I have just applied to a great role with a fantastic company. On paper the role is “mine:” corporate communications dealing with Internet, Net Neutrality, Intellectual Property, and Telecommunications, copyright and regulatory issues. How cool isn’t that?

The position is in an US Company, but would be based in the Netherlands, and I have no direct contacts into this company, which I know of that is, hence the cross-cultural networking.

After submitting my application I saw that the hiring manager visited my LinkedIn profile and a couple of days later the same did two recruiters from the company in question. Cool, I thought and waited for the mail that never came. Then I read an article about the company which sparked my interest even more so I put some time into a letter further explaining my enthusiasm and trying my best to answer the basic question all future employers ask a possible hire: What added value would you have to the company?

And yes, I subsequently mailed this letter. It was during the weekend and since then – nothing.

Now what do I do? Start looking through my LI connections hoping someone might introduce me? Cry, swear, be disappointed and move on?

Influence – anyone? – Inflytande – någon?

The presentation I’m preparing have indeed opened my eyes and I have to admit I live in an almost permanent state of wonder. In particular when it comes to measuring, impression and influence. As my faithful reader might have seen, this is a recurring subject in this blog.

Yesterday I learned about Empire Avenue yet another networking site where our influence is measured, this time based on how many shares our fellow empires are purchasing in us. Put aside the bad feeling that approach gives me, it supposedly does what Klout doesn´t, whatever that is. Now, admittedly I might not be the sharpest knife but honestly – what does these sites do? Measure our influence and helps us network, you say. Yes, but what influence is measured? And as for networking, being curious of my fellow human beings and rather chatty (in fact a friend of mine always admonishes me for speaking with strangers), I am all for it. In fact I rather enjoy it, partly since I don’t connect with people because I might require their helping hand in the future or because I might bring something to them but because I enjoy their company. And I do believe that electronic links might be just as strong as links we have IRL. So I enjoy on-line networking too. As said, I’m a chatty individual and I thrive in the company of others.

I play golf with this guy David, and admittedly I’ve always laughed at him and his hobby horses. One of his favourites is that our currencies are Monopoly money because their value is not tied to anything, e.g. like the gold foot. How much is one dollar, Euro, or a yen? Their value is fictive. The same can be said for networks like Klout and Empire Avenue, our value there is fictive. The numbers there doesn’t really show more than that we have time to waste, in the case of Empire Avenue, and that we have a large web presence in the case of Klout. I continue to wrestle with this question, it might be that I make too much of it. But my question remains – what is our influence?


Presentation jag håller på att förbereda har vidgat mina vyer och jag måste erkänna att jag är i ett nästan permanent tillstånd av förundran. Eller förbryllan, snarare. I synnerhet när det gäller att mätning och inflytande. Som mina trogna läsare kanske har sett är det ett återkommande ämne.

Igår upptäckte jag Empire Avenue ytterligare ett nätverk som skall mäta vårt inflytande, denna gång baserat på hur många aktier våra medempirier köper i oss. Om vi inte går in på att det är dålig smak att köpa aktier i våra medmänniskor så sägs Empire Avenue göra det Klout inte gör, vad det nu än är. Nu jag med all sannolikhet inte den skarpaste kniven i lådan men ärligt talat – vad visar de här siffrorna? Mäter vårt inflytande och hjälper oss att bygga nätverk, svarar du. Ja, men vilket inflytande? Men inflytande över vad och/eller vem? Och vad gäller nätverk, för någon som är nyfiken på mina medmänniskor och ganska pratsam (faktiskt till den grad en väninna alltid förmanar mig att inte tala med främlingar), så är jag helt för det. Faktum är att jag tycker det är roligt, delvis för att jag inte nätverkar med tanke på eventuell hjälp jag kan få eller ge, utan för att jag ofta tycker om människor och deras sällskap. Och jag är övertygad om att elektroniska kontakter kan vara precis lika starka som kontakterna vi har ”off line.” Som sagt, jag är en pratsam person och jag trivs i sällskap med andra.

En av mina golfkompisar David, har några återkommande favoritämnen. Och jag har visserligen ofta skrattat åt honom och hans återkommande favoritdiskussioner. En favorit är att våra valutor är som Monopolpengar eftersom deras värde inte är bundna till något ”riktigt”, t.ex. guldfoten. Hur mycket är egentligen en dollar, Euro eller en yen? Deras värde är fiktivt. Detsamma kan sägas om nätverk som Klout och Empire Avenue, våra värden där är fiktiva. Siffrorna finns inte visar egentligen mer än att vi har tid att över, när det gäller Empire Avenue, och att vi har en hög närvaro på webben när det gäller Klout. Men siffrorna i sig visar inget.

 Jag fortsätter att brottas med frågan om inflytande och jag är öppen för att jag kan göra för mycket av det.

 Men min fråga kvarstår – vad är inflytande?