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What is networking?

I hear a lot about the importance of networking. Exactly what is it? 
Networking is simply making yourself available to develop contacts, and then doing what is necessary to turn those contacts into long-term relationships that are mutually beneficial for both parties.

Making yourself available means you join community and civic groups, and get involved in what these groups do.

Successful networking requires you to make the relationship the goal and any benefit of that relationship a bi-product. But remember, the ,most successful networkers don't keep score on the benefit thing. 
Related Categories: Networking
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AskJim ID: 78