Book Review: Networking is Dead

We all know that we need to network to find people to hire or to get a new job. But too often, our networking is random. That's why you should read Networking Is Dead: Making Connections That Matter.

Wilson and Mohl make the case that you should network with purpose. It's not the networking is dead, per se. It's that you want to think about how you network. You want to make “connections that matter.”

I don't disagree with them. But it's difficult to know when someone will matter, if you are a hiring manager or a consultant. But, then they go on to say how you cultivate your network. Now, we're talking!

I liked a number of the ideas: that your network has Takers, Givers, and Exchangers. Takers always take, take, take, never giving back. Givers are very generous, providing feedback, becoming clients, providing leads or information. Exchangers provide assistance without keeping score.

The book goes on to discuss the five levels of exchange:

  1. Social exchange
  2. Information exchange
  3. Knowledge-Wisdom exchange
  4. Connection exchange
  5. Opportunity exchange

The higher up the levels you work, the more valuable you are to the people on your network. You want to think about how you connect and what you exchange with the people on your network.

Networking as “spray-and-pray” for business cards is dead, and should be dead. That's never worked. Being an open networker on LinkedIn? Well, it's fine if you want to collect people. I collect people, but even I want to know why you want to link with me.

Stupid networking is dead. Be a smart networker. Use this book and you can be.


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