The New Networking In The Caribbean

Easier to Network?

Is it easier or harder to network here in Jamaica than in other places? I am not sure if I know the answer to that question, but realized after a few months of living on the island that networking is different here compared to the process I followed when I lived in North America.

For starters, nobody ever asked me, ” was I related to such and such, and did I attend prep school with …….? or am I the daughter- in-law of ……..?” These questions affected me in a very strange way, as I asked “why does it matter who I am related to?”

While I now recognize that this is simply how trust is established among many on the island as they attempt to place you, it threw me for a tail loop my first year here. It is very interesting three years later, when I am introduced as Merle’s daughter-in-law, or Francis’s wife I just smile. As they say in Jamaica ” so it ahh go” meaning that it’s how things are done, so do not try to fight the system.

My new conclusion is that if I am going to live here, I need to understand the “why” of how things work and find my place in this society.

My Rolodex filled with names and telephone numbers for contacts up and down the east coast, those living  out on the west coast, as well as those living in the the southern states, was of no assistance to me while trying to network on the island Jamaica.

I had to start my contact list over from zero. Oh lucky me!.
My husband realized this as well and he went a step further and started writing about the  networking differences, which led to him giving a few presentations and speeches on the topic last year. At first, he wanted to have someone write a book about the topic, but when he couldn’t figure out how to direct the project, he connected with a designer Tavia Tomlinson and together they came up with an e-book, which is now finally available as a download. This  e-book, includes a combination of text, audio and video.

A copy can be claimed by contacting me or leaving your name at the following

http://fwconsulting.com/newnetworking

I am sharing this with readers since all of you should find this free e-book helpful when considering moving to this island in the sun. We get weekly emails from individuals who are thinking about moving to Jamaica,  with many admitting that they are unsure of where to begin. My initial advice is always for them to start making trips to the island and  begin building networks.

3 Replies to “The New Networking In The Caribbean”

  1. I think it’s more about trying to find some common ground with you. If I’m introduced as Francis’ wife then it means that the other person to whom I’m being introduced also knows Francis. That’s common ground. So the conversation with that person might start off, “Oh so you’re Francis’ wife! Wow, nice to meet you.” And then maybe they’ll tell you how much they like Francis or some funny story about Francis.
    Same with the school – what year did you graduate? Oh so that means you should know so and so…and do you remember this or that teacher?”

  2. Yes, the questions are much more about finding out who you know in common. I’d theorize that the reason this is so prevalent in Jamaica is because we’re a small island, and Kingston is an even smaller city – everyone has someone in common. The degree of separation between people is so drastically reduced from the degree in the US that while it’s not useful in the US in general for people to know what elementary school you went to, with Jamaicans you can meet a total stranger and find out that you went to school with their sister (true story) or their cousin (true story), or your dad’s friend went to the school with them (true story).

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