IT Managers Need To Understand The Importance Of Networking

Networking may not be easy to do, but it is a crucial part of your job
Networking may not be easy to do, but it is a crucial part of your job
Image Credit: Dell Inc.

How is that IT career of yours going? I certainly hope that it is going well for you. However, I’ve got an important question for you: are you trying to do it all by yourself? It turns out that getting ahead in the world of IT can be a lot easier if we use out IT manager skills to discover how to effectively network. Now the big question is just exactly how does one go about doing this?

Balancing Work And Home

I’m willing to be the first one to admit that I’ve got a lot more going on in my life than just work. This is one of the reasons that networking can be so difficult to do: I’ve got things that I’ve got to get to after work. I’ve got to get home and get on with life. If this networking thing is only going to happen at work after 5pm, then sorry, I don’t think that I’m going to have the time to participate.

Another challenge that comes up when you are trying to actually do some networking is that you may be concerned about how you are going to appear to others. We can often feel that we’re going to look like we are bragging about ourselves or that we are acting inappropriately when we seek networking help from more senior executives because we have no IT manager training in doing this. If you are by nature an introvert, then this is the time that you need to start to become an extrovert.

Make The Time To Network

One of the biggest problems that I have with networking is simply remembering to do it! My life is pretty busy and remembering to talk to more people in order to find out what I should be doing to move my career forward is something that I struggle to remember to do. What happens is that I get to the end of a day and that is when I remember that I had wanted to do some networking, but by then it’s too late.

One of the big questions that we all deal with is just exactly how much of our time should we be spending on this networking stuff? The smart people who study such things tell us that we should be spending roughly 10% – 20% of our time working at networking. What this means for us is that we’re going to have to get serious about doing networking. This can involve setting up alerts to remind you to go out and do some networking on your mobile phone as well as keeping a list of people that you want to network with on your desk so that it is always within visual range.

The good news is that in order to network well, it’s not really all that hard to do. What the majority of networking consists of is simply staying in touch with people. You want to make sure that too much time does not pass since the last time you had contact with them. Picking up the phone and making a call to a contact in order to find out how things are going or shooting them a quick email can keep the lines of communication open.

What All Of This Means For You

Being an IT manager is a good job. Getting promoted would be even better. In order to make sure that that a promotion is coming our way, we need to spending some time networking all the time – this is just as important as doing IT team building. However, it’s all too easy for us to get caught up in the events of the day and forget to do the networking that we should be doing.

There are a lot of challenges to finding the time to network properly. There simply isn’t enough time in a lot of our days. Additionally, many of us may be concerned about how we are going to appear to our work colleagues when we start to hang out with senior management types. In order to properly network, we need to make sure that set reminders for ourselves to take the time to do the things that we need to do. The good news is that networking is not all that hard to do, we simply have to make the effort to stay in contact with the people who are in our network.

To get ahead in any organization you need to be recognized as the person who will be best suited to performing the job. What this means is that you need to be known to the people who are running the show. In order to make this happen, you’ve got some networking to do. Take the time out of each day and go out there and network! Your career will thank you!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that there is any way to combine networking with the work that you should be doing anyway?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As an IT manager, one of your jobs is to evaluate the performance of your team. How you go about doing this, what IT manager skills you need to use, and how often you do it have been the subject of much debate over the past few years. However, I think that we can all agree that the system does not work that well You don’t like doing it and your direct reports really don’t like participating in it. There has got to be a better way!

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