Networking the “Right” Way

April 26, 2007

When I first came out of college, the word I HATED the most was networking. To me it was laden with slimy schmooziness where people used one another for getting what they wanted. Perhaps it was because I had just come out of college and felt I had everything to gain and nothing to offer.

After working for a while and going back to school, the realization struck me that networking was not about squeezing and taking but could be an authentic beginning to new relationships. When I approached it that way, it seemed more palatable and even desirable. As I moved back into a big corporation, I realized how important it was to network, but not in the typical sense. I learned that every person I met within my company was a chance to meet someone new and also find opportunities to grow in my career.

Mitch Joel from TwistImage talks about some simple ways where we can be more effective in our careers. I think his points can easily be applied to your current workplace situation:

Give Abundantly – This means passing on information that you think others would find interesting or be helpful to what they are doing. I shared many links with other teams to help them keep up to date with their industry.

Help Others – Helping others enables you to seize opportunities to not only empower others but also lets other people know that you’re interested in their area, so that when it comes time to expand you can be in their mind.

Relationships – Finding what you need in the workplace to get things done is a lot easier when relationships are in place. Many times, relationships start with just the seed of a conversation watered by giving abundantly and helping others.

Forget the schmoziness when it comes to networking, and bring your true self because that’s the only way networking can get done.

For more reading on networking, check out Networking Insight by Jason Jacobsohn.


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2 Responses to “Networking the “Right” Way”

  1. Great post Holly. I am glad that you realized the value of networking early in life. A lot of people have a negative image about networking because of the schmoozers and salesy people. As long as you understand that networking is about building sustainable relationships over the long term, you will find it a valuable and necessary part of your life.

  2. Mitch Joel Says:

    Thanks for linking back to me Holly. The main crux of networking is to start doing it waaaaay before you need it. Do it because you are hoping to help others. Don’t do it because all of a sudden you need a job or a sale… you need to be doing it and helping other well before you need anything for yourself.

    It’s a serendipitous experience.

    Have fun with it.

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