My first job, pushing a broom in Charlie Ward’s “goldmine” was not the fulfillment of my life’s ambition.  I may not have had much business experience, but somewhere along the line I had bought into the conventional wisdom that there was no such thing as a good job with a broom.

Well, I was wrong.  And so is today’s version of that homily, for which you can substitute “flipping burgers” for the broom part.

I learned some things behind Charlie’s broom that stuck with me.  Like showing up on time.  Dressing neatly.  Showing respect to others.  Doing your job.  Demonstrating the willingness to do more than was expected of me.

In those days, I wouldn’t have known what a network was if I’d tripped over one.  But my gut instinct told me that if I could figure out who it was I had to impress with my newly acquired little businessman qualities, I would be able to put the broom down as soon as possible.

Sure enough, within a couple of months, I had been paroled from the plant and was in the sales department.  All it too was: (1) being the best broom man of my generation; (2) being sure the assistant plant manager knew it; and (3) having had the good fortune to have latched on to a guardian angel–someone who was equally eager to escape the goldmine and who took me with him when he wangled his way into sales.

It doesn’t matter how far down the food chain you are when you start out; networking can pay off big time.

You can learn more networking tips in my book “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty

About the author Harvey Mackay

Seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive," with two books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. He is one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers, and currently serves as Chairman at the MackayMitchell Envelope Company, one of the nation’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.

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