Becoming educated in a lucrative field that you enjoy and are naturally good at is just the first step towards success. Once you are actually in the field, it will be necessary for you to prove yourself. By proofing yourself to be a reliable and skilled professional, you will eventually build your reputation.
Increasing your reputation will mean the difference between success and failure. One the best methods of increasing your professional reputation is to network. In the business world, isolation leads to the death of your career. Whether you are an engineer, entrepreneur, or writer, networking is a must if you wish to increase your reputation.
While it is never a good idea to be dependent on anyone, it is always good to be interdependent. In other words, you may be dependent on others to some degree, but you also want other people to be dependent on you. Once you put yourself in this position, you have the keys which lead to great power.
One thing which has remained true is that the more people you have dependent on you, the more freedom you have. Networking successfully is directly connected to increasing your professional reputation, First, to be skilled at networking, you must understand the power of giving.
Most people are unsuccessful in this world because all they think of is themselves, and what they can get from others. Powerful people switch around this dynamic. Instead of making it obvious to others that they only think of themselves, they appeal to the self interest of others.
Because powerful people understand that most people are self centered, they appeal to this mindset in order to increase their own power. Ironically, by thinking less about yourself, and appealing to the self interest of others, you actually increase your own reputation, and can become successful at networking at a result.
Giving in networking does not necessarily require you to give away money. For example, a self employed janitor who cleans the office of a doctor knows that in exchange for his service the doctor gives his children free healthcare. Yes, this is bartering, but it is also a form of networking. By working with the doctor, the janitor now has a connection which can be very useful to him down the road.
This is commonly known as the "boomerang effect." It basically means that like a boomerang, when you give something up, you can get something in return. One clever way of networking that does not require any money is simply to assist people by giving them valuable information, or support.
We all have a knowledge of various things which is more extensive than the norm, and by making use of this knowledge, we can become skilled at networking. Everyone on this planet needs something. It maybe food, it maybe money, or it may even be medical help. If you support these people, and help them get what they need, you have just made use of the boomerang effect, and it will come back in one way or another.
How does this increase your professional reputation? For one thing, once you begin giving, you will build a reputation. You will become known as "the person who is skilled with computers," or the "person who is good at fixing cars," or "person who knows where to get the cheapest tickets."
As you start to become known for your reliability, and willingness to give to others, people will begin coming to you for solutions to their problems, and they will often give you something in return for assisting. Such is the power of networking.
Get past the idea that you can "do everything yourself". There is no such thing as a one man army. Those that depend on themselves 100% to accomplish goals will never be successful. If you wish to be successful, you must know when it is necessary to network and get help from others.
However, it is equally important to have skills and specialized knowledge that you can provide to others in exchange for them helping you. With the power of the Internet, building your professional reputation has become easier than ever before. With websites like MySpace, FaceBook, and Zoodango, you can network with like minded people, and achieve goals which are otherwise difficult for you to achieve alone.
While our society often promotes the one man or woman "as the face of success," often, there is a large number of people behind this individual that helped them become successful. While Bill Gates is seen by many as being "synonymous with Microsoft," without, suppliers, distributors, and programmers, Bill Gates would not be successful. Just as lions work together to tackle formidable prey, you must always form a well oiled network in order to succeed.