Career networking may seem like an intense game of chess where every move is part of the bigger plan and it does not matter how you get to the end as long as you get there.
But the game of career career guidance.is changing -- and in fact, it isn't much of a game at all. Successful networkers focus more on nurturing meaningful relationships with a clear goal of how each connection can offer
These networkers are not just successful, they're savvy, according to Dr. E. Chandler, assistant professor of management at California Polytechnic State University. Chandler studied this successful technique, which she calls "relational savvy."
"Being 'savvy' isn't about playing 'the game,'" Chandler said. "It's about cultivating and nurturing relationships that are mutually beneficial and involve respect and trust."
After studying both "savvy" networkers and average professionals, Chandler identified four main differences between the two groups, which is a guide for those looking to be more "relational savvy."
Development Proactivity – Savvys reach out frequently to others, called "developers" for support; average professionals reach out less frequently and sometimes not at all.
Managing Interactions – From managing their interactions thoughtfully to preparing for all meetings with "developers," Savvys constantly work on their relationships and ensure that the partnership is mutually beneficial.
Relational Attitudes – A professional's attitude can either help or hinder a relationship. Savvys hold positive, enabling attitudes in which they believe that 'developers' want to help them and give advice instead of feeling intimidated.
Social Skills – In order to make a meaningful connection with others, a person needs to have solid listening skills, empathy and other basic skills.