ARE YOU A SAVVY NETWORKER?
TEST YOUR NETWORKING I.Q.


We often become victims of our own culture and good intentions. Indeed, most people learn two things in their childhood that may later become detrimental to career success:
  • Don't talk about other people's money - it's none of your business.
  • Don't talk to strangers - they may take advantage of you.
By not talking about what others make, many people later become "salary dumb"; not knowing what they are worth, they don't do well negotiating salaries and asking for raises. By avoiding contact with strangers, they often become socially and professionally inept in situations that require building relationships with important strangers.

To be successful in adulthood, many people need to change these two ingrained childhood behaviors. They especially need to learn how to talk to strangers who may become important to their career success.

Rather than sit passively on the sidelines waiting for jobs and promotions to come to them, savvy networkers develop proactive communication strategies that involve these three major skill sets for personal and professional success:
  • making connections
  • building relationships
  • nurturing networks
When looking for a job, savvy networkers make connections for acquiring employment information and leads by using the telephone and Internet, working professional meetings and social gatherings, and writing and following up letters and email. They build relationships by engaging in informational interviews and following up on referrals. They nurture or manage networks by staying in touch and exchanging information, advice, and referrals with their "connections."

Collectively known as "networking," these activities lead to job interviews and offers. When on the job, savvy networkers view their environment as a set of strategic relationships that need to be developed and managed rather than a hierarchy of rules, regulations, authority, and perks.

Using similar connecting and relationship-building and managing strategies, they empower themselves with demonstrated professional achievements that are central to accelerating their career advancement.

Just how savvy are you when it comes to finding a job and advancing your career? Do you have the necessary networking skills for success? Can you quickly network your way to job and career success, or do you need to focus on developing specific networking skills?

Let's start by testing your "Savvy Networking I.Q." You do this by responding to the following set of agree/disagree statements:

INSTRUCTIONS: Respond to each statement by circling the number to the right that best represents your situation. The higher your score, the higher your "Savvy Networking IQ."
SCALE:  	
5 = strongly agree		
4 = agree
3 = maybe, not certain
2 = disagree
1 = strongly disagree
  1. I enjoy going to business and social functions where I have an opportunity to meet new people. (CONNECT/BUILD)
    5	4	3	2	1
  2. I usually take the initiative in introducing myself to people I don't know. (CONNECT)
    5	4	3	2	1
  3. I enjoy being in groups and actively participating in group activities. (CONNECT/BUILD)
    5	4	3	2	1
  4. On a scale of 1 to 10, my social skills are at least a "9." (BUILD/NURTURE)
    5	4	3	2	1
  5. I listen carefully and give positive feedback when someone is speaking to me. (CONNECT/BUILD)
    5	4	3	2	1
  6. I have a friendly and engaging personality that attracts others to me. (CONNECT/BUILD/NURTURE)
    5	4	3	2	1
  7. I make a special effort to remember people's names and frequently address them by their name. (CONNECT)
    5	4	3	2	1
  8. I carry business cards and often give them to acquaintances from whom I also collect business cards. (CONNECT)
    5	4	3	2	1
  9. I have a system for organizing business cards I receive, including notes on the back of each card. (BUILD)
    5	4	3	2	1
  10. I seldom have a problem starting a conversation and engaging in small talk with strangers. (CONNECT)
    5	4	3	2	1
  11. I enjoy making cold calls and persuading strangers to meet with me. (CONNECT)
    5	4	3	2	1
  12. I usually return phone calls in a timely manner. (CONNECT)
    5	4	3	2	1
  13. If I can't get through to someone on the phone, I'll keep trying until I do, even if it means making 10 more calls. (CONNECT)
    5	4	3	2	1
  14. I follow up on new contacts by phone, email, or letter. (BUILD)
    5	4	3	2	1
  15. I have several friends who will give me job leads. (BUILD)
    5	4	3	2	1
  16. I frequently give and receive referrals. (BUILD)
    5	4	3	2	1
  17. I have many friends. (BUILD)
    5	4	3	2	1
  18. I know at least 25 people who can give me career advice and referrals. (BUILD)
    5	4	3	2	1
  19. I don't mind approaching people with my professional concerns. (CONNECT/BUILD)
    5	4	3	2	1
  20. I enjoy having others contribute to my success. (BUILD)
    5	4	3	2	1
  21. When I have a problem or face a challenge, I usually contact someone for information and advice. (BUILD)
    5	4	3	2	1
  22. I'm good at asking questions and getting useful advice from others. (BUILD)
    5	4	3	2	1
  23. I usually handle rejections in stride by learning from them and moving on. (BUILD)
    5	4	3	2	1
  24. I can sketch a diagram, with appropriate linkages, of individuals who are most important in both my personal and professional networks. (BUILD)
    5	4	3	2	1
  25. I regularly do online networking by participating in Usenet newsgroups, mailing lists, chats, and bulletin boards. (CONNECT/BUILD)
    5	4	3	2	1
  26. I regularly communicate my accomplishments to key members of my network. (NURTURE)
    5	4	3	2	1
  27. I make it a habit to stay in touch with members of my network by telephone, email, and letter. (NURTURE)
    5	4	3	2	1
  28. I regularly send personal notes, birthday and holiday greeting cards, and letters for special occasions to people in my network. (NURTURE)
    5	4	3	2	1
  29. I still stay in touch with childhood friends and old schoolmates. (NURTURE)
    5	4	3	2	1
  30. I have a great network of individuals whom I can call on at anytime for assistance, and they will be happy to help me. (BUILD/NURTURE)
    5	4	3	2	1
  31. I belong to several organizations, including a professional association. (CONNECT/BUILD)
    5	4	3	2	1
  32. I consider myself an effective networker who never abuses his relationships. (CONNECT/BUILD/NURTURE)
    5	4	3	2	1
  33. Others see me as a savvy networker. (CONNECT/BUILD/NURTURE)
    5	4	3	2	1

    TOTAL I.Q. 		 _______________


    If your total composite I.Q. is above 155, you're most likely a savvy networker. If you're below 120, you're probably lacking key networking skills. Each of the above items indicates a particular connect, build, or nurture behavior or skill that contributes to one's overall networking effectiveness. Concentrate on improving those items on which you appear to be weak. For example, you may discover you are particularly savvy at "connecting" with people but you're weak on "building" and "nurturing" relationships - or vice versa - that define your network. Consequently, you should benefit greatly by becoming more proactive as you connect, build, and nurture your network for job and career success!


    SOURCE: Adapted from Ronald L. Krannich and Caryl Rae Krannich, The Savvy Networker: Building Your Job Net For Success (Manassas Park, VA, 2001), pp. 1-7. All rights reserved.