A couple of weeks ago I listened to several people discuss the topic of networking with others. The featured guest in the Google Hangout video chat was Stacy Zapar who happens to have the distinction of being the most connected woman on LinkedIn. She shared her experiences and insights regarding networking and is obviously very knowledgeable about the importance of it in the field of recruiting and talent management. You can view that one-hour video and review the archive of the accompanying Twitter chat here.
During the discussion, the focus was on how to build a personal and professional network in a way that is strategic, thoughtful, and leads toward helping accomplish goals and meet needs in the future as they arise. I didn’t realize until after the discussion that the title for the chat – “Dig a Well Before You’re Thirsty” – is based on a nearly identical book title by Harvey Mackay published in 1999. After some further exploration, it seems like a good investment of someone’s time to read that book, especially if you feel you could use some assistance in building a network for professional and career reasons.
Sometimes, though, phrases jump out at us and immediately have application far beyond the original context. Such is the case with this book title. It’s true that I weekly pursue expanding my professional contacts in the field of enterprise social networking, especially through the weekly Twitter #ESNchat I host. But when I hear the phrase “Dig a well before you’re thirsty,” my mind immediately goes to other areas of life and the general advice to be prepared, to plan ahead, to not wait until the last moment to get things done, etc.
It reminds me that if I want, for example, to have a decent nest egg for retirement, I have to be contributing and investing wisely for many years before that elusive date. It means that if I have aspirations to accomplish larger goals in the future, I must be willing to lay the groundwork and put in place the stepping stones that are necessary now in order to reach those goals later.
Dig a well before you’re thirsty. That sounds to me like a phrase worth remembering and a philosophy worth living.
How would you apply it?