Why Networking Doesn’t Suck

Or How I Learned to Love the Mob

As an introverted person, I first thought of networking and sighed. Guess what? I started doing it and like it!

You get to meet a lot of interesting and exciting people and the best part: people want you to succeed.

If you are in job seeking mode, it is important to keep your spirits up.

A Recommendation

People who focus inward may not be the happiest. As a job seeker or somebody who may not be happy in your current career, it is easy to spend way too much time thinking about your plight. The best advice I ever got for dealing with that is: Help somebody.

Helping others gets you to focus externally. Hearing their stories may help you realize that while your life is not a bowl of cherries, it’s not all bad. A simple “thank you” received when you help somebody can change your whole day.

How Do You Start Your Networking Journey?

As they said in the movie, The Graduate, I have one word for you: meetup.com. Meetup.com can be the gateway to your interactions with many professionals in your fields of your interest. Check out the meetup.com site and enter topics of your interest.

Wait, I have another word for you: LinkedIn. Again, there are many groups on LinkedIn; some are easy to join; others not so much. Join ones of interest and contribute to the conversation.

 

Not everybody is going to like you, so you just soldier on. Be authentic and good things will happen.

Why Do This?

I have four reasons:

  • You begin to associate with people who share your interests and build your recognition in your chosen field.
  • By contributing to the group and maybe even speaking on a topic, your profile as a thought leader begins to grow.
  • You learn painlessly and help maintain your credentials as a life-long learner. Even shared stories about failure and what you learned from the experience are valuable to others.
  • You never know who you meet that might like the cut of your jib and present you with an offer you cannot refuse.

Some Options

Some organizations have groups you can join. Often those same organizations have national or regional meetings. You can also look for speakers on topics of interest, or volunteer for groups in which you believe. Any interaction with others can be networking. Just remember always to offer your help. Your mileage will vary periodically, but your tank will never be empty.

 

Closing Thoughts

I was born in Illinois and from an early age was an Abraham Lincoln fan. The great man has many famous quotes. I leave you with one of my favorites:

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”

 

This great man managed to get out of bed every day.

We call that leading by example!

Whatever your struggles, remember people are rooting for you.

We call that your network!