Building Social Capital Is a Long-Term Investment

By Mike Muhney

Some people only see the value of networking when they are seeking a new job. Those people are wrong. Not only does consistent networking beneficial in the future should you ever find yourself in the job market, it's a long-term investment that can help you grow your career at any given point in time.

When you put time and effort into maintaining strong relationships, you're creating something with long-term value. Among those who study social networks that value is called "social capital." To define it more precisely, social capital is the value that individuals get from and deliver to the network.

The businessperson providing resources to colleagues, getting to know them as people, and helping them solve problems is creating social capital, as is the political leader who forges personal connections and builds trust with leaders of other countries. They are creating a valuable asset on which they can draw later, when they are the ones in need of resources or support.

I watched an interesting video of an interview with Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, in which he made the following statement, "Every person today is a business, so the question is…'How are you handling it?'"

Undoubtedly, you see yourself doing business, but do you see yourself as a business-or a brand-within your respective field? And further, are you effectively managing your personal brand?

If you understand the need to manage yourself as a business, you understand how crucial it is to develop sustainability by providing value to others over the long run-not only if and when you're looking for a job.

About the Author

CRM pioneer Mike Muhney, the co-creator of ACT! software (credited as the catalyst for the "customer relationship management" industry), is CEO of mobile relationship management purveyor vipOrbit-the first relationship-centric contact manager solution enabling mobile business professionals to manage their contacts, calendar and client/customer interactions across Mac, iPhone and iPad platforms. He may be reached at

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