You Say Networking, I Say Socializing
By the end of this post, you’ll not only understand what “good networking” actually is, but you’ll be able to network more effectively in your own life. Why is it important? Well, because that’s how people get jobs, promotions, and friends.
Welcome to Networking, Writer’s Coin style.
Earlier this week, I spent some time discussing what networking is not. But what qualifies as good networking then?
Networking Has Nothing to do with Work
That’s right, I said it. While networking can help you get a new/better job, it isn’t something you do for work. Every time I meet someone that’s obviously just trying to “stay in touch” with me or “get to know me” strictly for their own benefit, I immediately discard them.
These are not connections I’m interested in fostering.
How I Network
I like to pretend I’m at a party. Do I want to stand around with the group of people talking about how much money they make and the fancy boats they all own?
Do I want to go outside and hang out with the smokers and complain about how they’re treated like second-class citizens?
What I want to do is find people that are interesting, that I can have a laugh with, and that are going to being me some level of enjoyment throughout the night.
I’m not in it to find people that might know someone who knows someone, I’m in it to find interesting people to spend my night with.
What You Can Do
- Stop thinking of networking as something you do to get ahead, that’s not how it works
- Develop social skills if you’re shy or awkward. Trent keeps recommending Toastmasters
- Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not
Networking is very simple: it’s about meeting people you click with. Sometimes you’ll meet someone that’s the Chief Creative Officer for an awesome ad agency, which is your dream job.
But if he/she’s a jerk, the last thing you want to do is suck up and pretend to be their friend just to get ahead. Would you want to go hang out with this person and have a beer?
If not, you have your answer.
Image by takomabibelot