Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one." - Jane Howard Many Tanzanians works for so many years before they retire or before something happens. In average people here are employed maximum of between 20 to 40 Years. During their careers many rarely socialized with co-workers nor did they join any professional groups. They devote their time to their spouses and family, ensuring that their needs were met. Have you ever thought what will happen if at an at age of 49 your spouse unexpectedly asked for a divorce, died, gets an accident, retires etc, etc?. Definitely you will find yourself alone a lot. Suppose you were living with only one friend and relied on your family as your network. Now you will seldom see your few relatives and your grown children who probably by then will be living on their own. No one should ever find themselves in this situation. It is my belief that, yes, you do have a family and work, but foster friendships along the way too. We need a good Network. Regardless of circumstances, we all need a network. Networks bring us together as human beings to support each other with information and services. Here are 7 reasons why everyone needs a network. 1. Networks provide valuable resources. Surround yourself with experts in their fields. Get to know people from all walks of life so that when you need information you can turn to your network. Wouldn't it be great to know an auto mechanic, a computer guru and a talented lawyer? They may or may not provide services directly to you but they can steer you toward those who can best fulfill your situational needs. 2. Networks save you time. Why search the for a Real Estate Agent or Doctor when you can call a friend? Connecting with your network allows you to skip the research. For example, you notice a strange spot on your skin and have never been to a dermatologist. Wouldn't you rather work with a doctor recommended by a trusted friend or colleague? You'll walk into the office knowing that your friend has already had a good experience with referred Doctor. 3. Networks reinforce the need for other people. No matter how much technology advances, we still need people. They need us too. One of the joys of networking is passing on resources, people and information to others. Your co-worker, for example, tells you he's having trouble getting up the courage to ask for a raise. You mention a book you read on negotiation. He attends and thanks you for making such a big difference in his career and many other examples. 4. Networks round out your life. Life can include many networks. Take a look at your current networks such as: spiritual, social and professional. Which networks are weak or non-existent? Refuel current networks or fire up new ones to round out your life. I know from TPN someone who didn't know how to network in businesses. He joined a new group within TPN which ventured in establishing a new business. From there, he began to build a network of other business by inviting potential and strategic members of TPN into other businesses. 5. Networks cushion a crisis. Life includes crises. Divorce, death and business failures - to name a few. When faced with these crises, you don't have to "go it alone." Lean on your networks to get referrals for professional, emotional and financial services you need. For example, if you abruptly find yourself without a job, people in your network often can and want to help. Since there are jobs that come from word-of-mouth, your network is a great place to get quick job leads. We 6. Networks make it easier to meet new people. New to your profession? Join a professional organization to meet others in your industry. For example, If someone joins a new network then during networking meetings and conferences can receive great tips from seasoned professionals and potential clients. Want to find a new friend? Network more, because most people find new friends through their networks. 7. Networks offer abundance. Strong networks give you what you need when you need it. They also allow you to pass on to others what they need when they need it. Networks move you out of scarcity and into abundance - an abundance of resources, information and people. Through Large Networks which may cover every Tanzanian Town you will go to, you will have friends there. It's the best feeling!" So when you head off to a place like Sumbawanga, Mtwara, Kigoma etc for the first time and don't know anyone there, ask people within your network to point you where to go and who to see. . . . could it be TPN? Current coverage DSM, Arusha, Tanga and next Dodoma and Mwanza. More to come. Watch out for Article 3.