I learned the importance of networking while drumming for and managing a punk rock band in the 90s. If my band was going to move beyond the garage then we had to reach out to others.
I didn’t intend to be a networker. It just happened. I would promote local shows for out of town bands and they would reciprocate the same for us. We would show bands how to screen their own shirts, where the cheapest place was to make stickers, what promoters were the best and worst, and more. The underground punk music scene thrived in this manner. Couches and floors at my house were offered to bands as they toured, and the same was offered when we were on the road. We learned from each other and to respect each other, even if we weren’t in the same state. Networking paid off as our tours grew in length, shows grew larger, and friendships created.
Today, almost 20 years later, it proves pivotal in my role as a Natural Hazard Mitigation Planner with FEMA. I must work across multiple federal and state agencies and bridge the gap between the private and public sector in helping communities improve resilience. I nor my agency can’t go it alone. It’s when we as professionals go beyond the formalities and share a beer or food after work, make a call to learn more about someone’s program or project, or just listen to learn more about the person….that is when work really gets done and we make gains. Networking requires time and energy, but the success is worth it.
Also viewed on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/i-learned-how-network-playing-punk-rock-band-brett-holt