Before you start wincing about being lectured about networking again, let me point out that it has a lot in common with blogging and other forms of enjoyable interpersonal activity.
It’s only scary until you do it successfully the first time
The more you do of it, the easier it gets
If you do it right, both you and the other person enjoy it
If you started out in a stable work environment, you might be a networking retard as I once was. I used to hear about networking and would think that was for insurance salesmen and others like them.
I knew I didn’t need to go through all that nonsense because I was a design engineer and had important work to do.
I didn’t learn about networking until I was laid off a few times and
it still didn’t sink in that I should network while I was still employed because I would get buried in work and would let my networking lapse time after time.
By the time I started my post-corporate life in 2001, I had finally
gotten the hang of networking and could do it easily and naturally.
My focus was no longer on getting myself a job, although I still
needed to work, because it had shifted to connecting people up and
helping people out as a way of life.
It had become such a part of my life that I was instantly drawn to blogging which is networking on steroids.
The fundamental point about networking is that it cannot be all about you!
To be a successful networker, you must have something of value to
exchange with the people you talk to. This can be information,
encouragement, or even helpful advice. The important thing is that what
you bring to the conversation must be valuable to the person you are
talking to and must not require a sales pitch.
There is more to add. Stay tuned for further installments.