The Importance of Networking

The Importance of Networking

“NETWORKING is the single most powerful marketing tactic to accelerate and sustain success for any individual or organization!” – Adam Small

Networking involves making connections and building long-term mutually beneficial relationships. DPN operates as a catalyst to ensure you interact with the “right” people to include in your network and expand your sphere of influence. Ultimately, it’s not about who you know … but WHO KNOWS YOU!! Ask any senior executive, programs manager, community leader or successful salesperson which single skill or habit helped them excel in their career – an overwhelming majority will respond with one word…networking.

Six Reasons Why You Should Make Networking a Habit:

1. Networking bears opportunities
Networking is about spotting opportunities through interaction and conversing with others. You get to share best practices, experiences and you can also identify gaps in their various projects or undertakings that you can cover with your expertise. The key is not only to focus on enhancing your image and work visibility, but to pay attention to information given to you during the conversation. This way, you become familiar with other people’s endeavours, their line of work and discover opportunities of mutual benefit. Make sure you get something out of every conversation you engage in.

2. Networking builds relationships
There is nothing needed more by project managers than good relationships with others at work. Spending time on building a relationship could deliver results in the future. If you have been managing projects for a while you’ll know how important it is to cultivate relationships with past and present stakeholders. Good working relationships improve the perception of project success as well.

3. Networking is inevitable
Even if your role isn’t explicitly to bring in new business or to market the company, you are expected to meet new people and understand the market. This is definitely the case for project managers. You need to quickly pick up information about the new project or opportunity and how can this be achieved- through talking to people.

4. Networking is good for you
It is a way to learn more about the business and understand the industry better and hear about the challenges faced by your contacts. If you’re managing project stakeholders, this information arms with the right responses as you might have to deal with the ‘what’s in it for me’ approach that many of them will take.

5. Networking Can Further Your Career
Many jobs aren’t advertised. Thus, if you seek to increase your chances of getting that internal promotion or scoring a role outside your company as a step up, you have to be well acquainted with the relevant parties. People recommend people they are familiar with in terms of abilities and skills. You might not have met the person you will be working for in the future yet, but you would have definitely secured a recommendation through a mutual contact that could link you with your dream job.

6. Networking is a Virtuous Circle
If done right, meeting more people leads to more business and career opportunities. The results may not be obvious now, but you never know what doors are going to open in the future. Henceforth, it is worth regarding every contact as your next stepping stone to your breakthrough. Who knows, they probably are exactly what you need! What are your networking experiences? Let us know in the comments.

Promoting Decent Work for Domestic Workers through Dialogue

Promoting Decent Work for Domestic Workers through Dialogue

Development Practitioners Network (DPN) hosted a Domestic Placement Agents Networking Forum during the Development Practitioners Convention 2016.

The networking forum was organized under the on-going project dubbed, RIGHTS OF MIGRANTS IN ACTION: Promoting and Protecting the Rights of Migrant Domestic Workers and Victims of Human Trafficking, funded by the European Union and supported by the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society. The high-level discussion sought to address the plight of migrant domestic workers through advocacy and awareness creation by providing a platform for key stakeholders to network and exchange information. Major issues of discussion included; the State of the Welfare of Domestic Workers in Zimbabwe, Registration and Operations of Domestic Placement Agents in Zimbabwe, Conditions of Employment for Domestic Workers in Zimbabwe and how to protect and promote Rights of Domestic Workers. The operations of illegal domestic placement agencies have contributed to the bulk of challenges faced by migrant domestic workers including human trafficking. The call for such a networking platform became more apparent after the incidence of illegal placements of hundreds of Zimbabwean women in Kuwait through bogus placement agencies. According to DPN Programs Manager Mr. Marufu, this forum was facilitated to clear the air through creating dialogue and learning amongst migrant domestic workers, placement agencies and regulating authorities.


The forum was attended by key stakeholders within the labour and employment services fraternity. Presenters comprised the Deputy Director of the Department of Labour Mr Mafuratidze, Ms. Senzeni Gumbo from National Employment Services Division (NES) and Mr. Dhure, the Managing Director of the Zimbabwe Domestic and Allied Workers Union (ZDAWU). The forum kicked off with a presentation by Senzeni Gumbo on behalf the Registrar of Private Employment Agencies, focusing on Registration and Operations of Domestic Placement Agents in Zimbabwe. Gumbo explained that the sole mandate of the NES is to regulate private employment agencies. She therefore encouraged all domestic placement agencies to familiarize themselves with the Zimbabwe Labor Act Part 14 Section 113- 119 regulations. These provide a framework for employment agencies regarding requirements on application, registration and monitoring of these entities.


Mr. Dhure from ZDAWU defined a domestic worker as ‘someone who works within the employer’s household,’ during his presentation on the Current State of Domestic Work in Zimbabwe. He highlighted that the nature of work involved has resulted in a gender dimension within domestic work as women constitute the majority of this populace. He added that most of the women belong to the low class socio-economic level and are of a poor education background. Parading their poverty has therefore become an application requirement to attract employment thus leaving them highly susceptible to exploitation through easy hiring and firing and non-regulated wages. He added that most placement agencies are taking advantage of their situation to make business by posting them outside the country and giving false promises.


Conditions of Employment for domestic workers in Zimbabwe were also explored by Mr Mafuratidze from the Department of Labor during this forum. He reiterated on the need to ensure that the domestic worker is well informed with regards to their legal rights as employees. He also urged participants to acquire the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) of the domestic workers sector as it is a statutory instrument protecting them.


During a plenary discussion that followed, domestic workers who participated in this discussion called for training models that would capacitate them on conditions of service, legal frameworks protecting them and the relevant entities to approach for assistance. Moving forward, the forum concluded that there is need to fight bogus employment agencies misleading domestic workers. ZDAWU was also encouraged to work on changing mind sets of domestic workers as they need to identify themselves as a unique practice that also has constitutional provisions to be observed in order to improve their welfare within their working environments.

The Space Inspiring Development Work

The Space Inspiring Development Work

The world we were told of growing up has changed drastically and today the speed it is changing today has been faster than ever. The main lead to the change has been necessitated by technology and globalization. Development Practitioners Network works towards the development of societies to improve quality of life, provision of services and establish sustainable cornerstones for communities to be highly independent. As Development Practitioners one of the main sources of information and ideas are professionally planned development oriented discussions. On 16 September 2016, The Space provided such a platform. The Space is an annual event that brings together civil society, academia, government, embassies, intelligencia, students’ to give them a platform to interrogate pillars of development and juxtapose them to current trends in Zimbabwe. To better do that DPN managed to attend these High level debates during The Space:
1. Future of Work
2. Zimbabwe Creating an Inclusive Economy
3. Fighting Inequality: Can it be done? If so how?

Development Practitioners Network is currently providing a training package called Working It Out for tertiary students. To that regard, the debate on the Future of Work was important. The high value debate made it clear that, students are not particularly sure of how their careers will turn out because technology is fast moving in. We have witnessed today the emergence of self-driving cars, what will happen to those looking forward to careers in driving? The future of health practitioners is also challenged with the development of drones that are distributing medication. Hence, the need to up-skill and re-skill is hugely needed. Working it Out training will thus develop incorporate the topics on the need to up-skill & re-skill and to initiate a transformative mindset to how young people can develop their careers.
Thank You, The Space for the space to talk about development work.

Take Ten Thousand Girls to Work

Take Ten Thousand Girls to Work

Interesting week at the Development Practitioners Network (DPN) through our partnership with Junior Achievement Zimbabwe (JAZ) we were participating in the JAZ job shadow Programme Dubbed Take Ten Thousand Girls to Work. This initiative ran from the 12th to the 16th of September, 2016 and saw different companies allowing female students (Form 4 – 6) to shadow their mentors for a day.  The job shadow program, apart from serving as mentorship, role modelling, career guidance and interpersonal skills development, is one single opportunity for organisations and corporates to volunteer their staff and spaces to build the future of young females.

Students from Roosevelt Girls High – Harare had the opportunity to get first-hand experience on what Development Practitioners Network does as an organisation. Take Ten Thousand Girls to Work Compliments Development Practitioners Network training programmes which include Catch Them Young and Working It Out, where we are training students on various modules which include entrepreneurial skills, financial literacy, job readiness, career development and life skills.

DPN National Coordinator Mrs Chipo Muchabaiwa said that, “The Job shadowing programme resonate with The Development Practitioners Convention 2016 theme “Networking for Development” and we applaud The Junior Achievement Zimbabwe Program which recognise that young people are any country’s investment hence the need to support their skills development processes”. The programme helps to engage different organisations to help tackle gender issues which are a key topic in development.

Zimbabwe as a country has registered significant strides on gender equality since independence in 1980, the majority of women still suffer from gender inequality as they lack the skills to make them economically independent. Women remain under-represented in the formal economy, and more so in corporate leadership positions. There are also career opportunities that have generally been perceived as only suitable for men. Giving the girl child an early exposure to the world of work will help close this gap.

Employability and Job Readiness Skills to young people

Employability and Job Readiness Skills to young people

The current socio- economic patterns in Zimbabwe have been characterized with reduced Gross Domestic Product, high unemployment levels and job losses. Such trends have a direct impact to the job market with employers seeking only the work ready employees with good employability skills and experience. The scenario has left most young graduates in the predicament of failing to obtain and keep their jobs as most employers now hire for attitude and not skills. In addition, the number of institutions conducting on-the-job training programmes has reduced drastically due to lack of funding.

The Development Practitioners Network is thus offering an opportunity for tertiary final level students and graduates for training in job readiness. TheWorking it Out training package thus comes as a timely package for the young graduates to acquire employability skills prior to their engagement at work. The objective of this training is to develop a set of standards that guarantee that graduates possess the needed skills for entry level employment. Such efforts will promote job retention and advancement in various sectors of the economy through changed employees’ attitudes towards work authority, culture and peers. This will further reduce education and vocational training programs attrition rates.

The training covers tips on job and opportunity search and enhancing the skills of young graduates to make a good self-impression as they join new companies. The enlightened students will appreciate employer expectations and familiarise with a new working environment. In addition, it explores the importance of professional communication skills as a crucial aspect of professional conduct within a workplace setting. Participants are also taught to manage the politics which exist within any normal working environment due to the diverse nature of human beings considering their culture, gender, attitudes and behavioural traits. This is premised on the fact that human beings by nature are political and whenever they interact as a group, conflicts are bound to exist hence the need to prepare themselves on how best to deal with these conflicts. Participants are also provided with the opportunity to improve the skills of managing time and how to relate with customers.

Development Practitioners Network is convinced that such an intervention will go a long way to address the challenges in the employment sector in particular and improve output in most sectors of employment in general. To register for this training contact;  or Phone 04 776112 / 08644113532.

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