Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The trouble with networking
Photo credit: svilen001 (stock.xchng)
“Networking” is a cold word. It sounds creepy, impersonal, and exploitative – and too often, that’s the way it plays out in real life.
How many career advice pages practically order you to go to networking events?
How many do you actually go to?
Have you found that they can take a big bite out of your budget (very few networking events are totally free)?
How much business have you gotten because of your attendance at networking events?
Have you met many (or even any) people who could be viable clients at networking events?
Have you seen too many job-seekers and not enough (if any) job-givers at networking events?
Do you feel guilty about asking successful people for help because you think you have nothing to offer them in return?
Do you collect other people’s business cards, then look at them the next day and wonder what the hell you should do next?
If you have gotten business because of a networking event, do you feel that you’ve earned it, or do you just feel you lucked out?
Do you feel that traditional, in-person networking events favor people who are loquacious, on the “E” side of Myers-Briggs? What happens if socializing with strangers drains you, or you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to speak unless there’s a good reason to?
What else can you do to gain new business – with the people who can use your help the most?