Quality vs quantity focused networking?

4 03 2010

Regardless of an actual increase in the number of “jobs filled” in WA state occurring for the first time in a very long time (according to Jan 2010 stats), I’m amazed by the proliferation of events, sites, programs, webinars, groups and individuals out there offering to provide opportunities for connecting you or teaching you how to connect with that ideal person/class/company/recruiter/connector/coach/guru/innovator or expert that can land you that elusive new job.  It’s mind boggling to me, and especially in such a relatively small metro area like Seattle! How do you choose where you’ll focus and/or spend your precious energy and time? What factors go into saying “yes” to an invite, meeting or writing a check?

And, if you take the leap, which do you practice and/or prefer? bella domain networking Quality-oriented connecting opportunities or skills development programs OR quantity-focused groups or events? Please share your comments here or on Facebook and you’ll help me figure out which resources out there I should support and/or refer people to, and, just as importantly, which to avoid if you’re a quality and relationship-focused connector like me. I’m going to include some of the data in an upcoming white paper I’m working on as well as in my next book. Thanks all!

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2 responses

4 03 2010
Josh B

My gut instinct always points to Quality, however, if you take the Quantity approach of networking, the people you meet, even though they may be at a different stage in their career then you would like to be at the current time, will one day be somewhere that may lead to the next level in your career.
I know I went in a small circle there, but it’s true, I know people who I went to community college with that are now Dentist and on their way to being doctors, and small business owners.
Had I not chosen to network with them simply because of their “level” at the time, I would have missed out on 1. Making a good friend, and 2. The potential of a great connecting for years to come.
Same is true with Networking events, although some of the groups may be new and at the beginning levels of development, some day that may be the best and biggest event known to the business world.
Just my thoughts.

5 03 2010

Thanks for the comment Josh. I agree that “level” should never matter. As I write in my book, “You never know who you meet might know.”

I probably should have been clearer about what I mean when I say “quality” as it relates to networking. I’m referring to quality as in an actual relationship that has depth, and hopefully a solid level of trust to it. As opposed to lots of acquaintances and shallow connections where when you contact them to ask for a favor or help with something you’re never quite sure if you’ll get a positive or helpful reply. Make sense?

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