Please! Don’t Make Me Network!

Networking business cardsI think it is safe to say that networking is often considered the most dreaded activity for someone in job search. For some of our clients, it is the worst aspect of their job search process.

Through the years, I have gotten many calls at 8:30 PM from clients who are driving home from a networking event.  They called just to vent and decompress from the stress of the evening.

“Do you know how hard it is for me to go to one of these meetings?” They would ask.  “Don’t you know how exhausting this is for someone like me? I’m totally stressed out by this! Tell me again, why do I need to do this?”

When I get these questions, this is always my answer: “Yes! Yes! I DO know how hard it is for some people to network, and my team and I genuinely applaud our clients for their effort.”

Fortunately for me, I don’t dread networking.  It doesn’t bother me to go to these meetings, and very often I feel really good afterwards because ultimately, I meet someone new, or see someone that I haven’t seen in a long time.

The reason I enjoy networking is that I approach it in this way:

I go to meetings where I think I will most likely meet people who I would personally want in my business network.  I’ll state this again: I go where I think I will meet people that I would find interesting and who I would like to have in my community of professional relationships.

With this intention, I tend to be more relaxed and have more meaningful conversations that make an impression and are more memorable to me and to the person to whom I am talking.  To me, this is truly the act of building a network.  And by the way, just for fun, I am collecting the name tags from the events that I have attended just to see how long it takes me to fill the jar!

You hate networking?  Think about approaching it completely differently and remember, people do business with people they like.  People hire people they like, too!

Susan Howington is the CEO of Power Connections.

 

Comments

  1. Di Chapman says:

    Boy, is this a great topic!