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Three key reasons to network, courtesy Hank Blank

March 13, 2011

Steve Fawthrop

 Dear Visitor,

Thank you for visiting this post.

In June 2014 I was approved to blog on LinkedIn and as part of gearing up my posts I did an updated version of this topic. So for something fresher, and with additional information added, I recommend the more recent post:

If you are active on LinkedIn and it makes sense to connect due to our common industry interests or location (Seattle/West Coast), certainly feel free to send me an invitation.

I hope you find some benefit to this post. All my new posts are exclusively on LinkedIn so if you find any value you can “follow” and get notification. I am shooting for one a week.




I attended a networking meeting last week with the featured speaker Hank Blank, a multifaceted advertising executive who lives in Orange County. I saw Hank speak the first time about four years ago and saw him at another event a few years later. I got notice of his speaking and sent a note back to a networking group encouraging members to attend based on Hank’s smooth speaking skills and his insights based on my regular reading of his blog postings.

Hank started his career working with major advertising agencies first in Canada, his home country, later in Chicago and eventually Southern California, his desired location. He is now independent and among his activities he speaks on a regular basis to groups both inside of outside of the world of advertising.

Last week he spoke about the value and necessity of networking in business these days. Whatever your current work situation, he pointed out an obvious reason to be networking. He emphasized you will be in one of three scenarios in your career:

  • You  joined a company more recently (or even been there awhile) but you do not broadly know those you work with. You want to network to add value to helping others understand how you can help them. This way you cross department lines and strengthen your visibility. You also learn about resources and people who may be able to help you. If you do not network you  limit your full capability to contribute to the company and protect your career as best possible.  He noted if you are successful and remain with your company then  networking  just makes the whole experience better.
  • You are a current job seeker. You can network now, out of necessity, but if you have the network in advance then you are in a better position to get help. This goes back to the old saying about how important it is to dig the well in advance and not just when you need to drink the water.
  • You may also start a new job, do terrific work and be committed yet, through no fault of your own, be without a job in the future. More recent economic distress just highlights this point but this is not new. It is  more important to keep in mind as the economy becomes even more dynamic in the future.

So no matter your current situation, his points seem undeniable.

The underlying emphasis is the need to establish your own personal brand. People, both internally and externally,  have to know what makes you distinct in the marketplace. Hank also touched on aspects of leveraging social media, especially LinkedIn for professional purposes, but I will not get into detail on that here.

One additional rule and one additional tip to pass along, too.

First, if you are going to a networking event, then go to network and with an agenda. If you go with a friend, do not stay with each other. You can cover more ground apart and avoid falling into the comfort zone of socializing. If you want to socialize, then do that during truly personal time. Also, especially if you are currently looking for a new job, accept that one event will not be magic. There will be another event, then another and another. All of them add up in positive ways you cannot foresee when you stay active, visible and engaged. In fact, he emphasized you have to attend with “an attitude of engagement.”

When you attend business events-and really for the rest of your life-always have two sets of business cards. One for your current company and a second set that is personal. It is essential to have your own image and information in the market. A personal card also complements and supports your personal brand because you can provide information that endures beyond your current job.

The personal card allows you to self-promote by noting social media sites for yourself and to add personal information that makes you more memorable.  For example, I am one of nine children.  Not too many folks come from such a large family so that  is different and memorable. And yes, I am the cutest and smartest of the bunch. That is a  little thing that makes me distinct and helps someone remember me when they look at my personal card later. Of course, add a few other salient facts like your career title (as opposed to your job title) and perhaps your college and degree.

If you would like to read some wisdom from Hank on your own, check out his website at His e-mail? Is this networking and personal branding stuff starting to make sense?

Meet Hank Blank!

Hank Blank

May 4, 2011 update-Some additional networking tips from Hank in his latest post:


Steve Fawthrop

714-876-7062, cell


From → Uncategorized

  1. I have also hear Hank speak a number of times. On his site he has some very good tools including some CD’s on networking that I have purchased and found very useful. Thanks for the great information Steve

  2. Great ideas and great tools Hank!

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