I’m Not In Sales, Why Network?

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Have you ever heard that phrase before? This phrase can be looked at as both a positive and a negative.

My dad used to tell me this growing up and it was always used as an excuse when things would not turn out our way. Both of us being avid sports fans, my father used to tell me that is was hard to get the tickets to the big games even though we knew everything about our teams: the offenses they ran, the players, the history, etc. Years after hearing this constantly, I found myself sitting court side in Chapel Hill on fold out chairs behind Clemson’s bench watching my Tigers lose yet again to the Tar Heels in the Dean Dome. My guest at this event was my dad. Even though my dad knew a lot about the game, it was the student manager I knew from my days as the Clemson Tiger that got us the seats.

At Clemson, I was able to take my role as the mascot and build a network that has thrived for over 20 years. I have been able to take my boys on the field during Clemson football games and experience more due to the people who I have been able to help out and those that have helped me back. Because of my network, my experience of a Clemson event has vastly improved.

It takes only 5 minutes of your day to have a short conversation with someone, or respond to an e-mail. The next message you get in your inbox, may be a life-changer but you wouldn’t know this if you didn’t take the time to respond to this person.

I think back on the last two jobs that I’ve had and how I got them. I obtained the position of Director of HR through someone I had met six years prior to that. My current role at Godshall goes back to 1999 when the owner, Julie Godshall Brown, and I served on the same GSHRM committee and continued to stay in contact through the years. Eleven years later we connected and I am now in a role that I truly enjoy.  People may think that you have to be in sales to build a network, however I will tell you that your network is the most valuable resource you can have in work and in life.

I sat there on the 50 yard line in the board of trustee’s box watching Clemson play BC as Matt Ryan killed our hopes to go the ACC Championship game. We “tailgated” with people at Clemson who have buildings named after them. My dad sat there with me and I pointed to the upper deck where we sat for our first game. I reminded him of the phrase that he shared with me his whole life as we were living the ultimate Clemson experience… “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know…”

Written by: Michael BaysMichael Bays

Michael Bays has been with Godshall for 5 years as a Technical Recruiter and brings over 12 years of recruiting experience through prior employment.  Michael holds a Master of Human Resources Development Degree from Clemson along with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management.  One interesting fact about Michael is that he holds the career push-up record when he was the Tiger mascot at Clemson.


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