Networking Is Not About You: Lessons From Experience

Karen Wickre, a former colleague and communications expert who’s regarded for shaping the voice of Google, recently released her e-book, Taking the Work out of Networking. In it, she lays out techniques to assist introverts community in ways that experience natural to them. While I’m by no means an introvert, this did get me thinking about my personal revel in networking.

There is no doubt that networks are powerful tools, and more regularly younger professionals are being instructed to the network as if it’s far an duty in their profession. Technology structures were created to help people community higher. Companies now even commit time and events in basic terms for networking purposes. Part of that is superb because it recognizes the value of building new relationships, however, part of it is also terrible as it makes it less difficult to lose sight of what networking really is.

At its middle, networking is creating a significant and precious connection at more than one ranges, including with the people networking and in the extra ecosystem, they belong to. In other phrases, networking isn’t just about you. To see it that manner is shortsighted, in my view, and it additionally adds an needless quantity of stress to an activity that already makes many uncomfortable.

The network connection, to me, is the definition of successful networking. To obtain it, I like to remind myself of 3 primary principles I’ve discovered along the manner.

Your Network Is Not A Utility

It’s easy to need to network for a quick-time period stop goal, to want the time you positioned into networking to constantly bring about something of benefit or usefulness to you. But that gained’t constantly be the case, and networking is that much more exciting when it’s a little unintended and for the purpose of creating a connection at that second in time, as opposed to for a few sought-after returns. Networking must be real as it has to be a herbal extension of your personal proper hobby, in preference to something more functional.

I started out returning to my alma mater, USC, as a visiting lecturer because I desired to offer again to an area that gave me exquisite recollections and excellent education. In the system of getting involved once more, I turned into invited to give greater talks approximately my entrepreneurial journey, which in flip result in students mastering approximately my organization. The talks had been not supposed to be a recruitment channel, I became simply there to talk approximately my profession path, but in the long run, it ended in dozens of candidates to my organization, a lot of whom became valued employees.

The Network Is An Ecosystem

The conventional (and possibly smooth) manner of thinking about networking is to focus on the development of one-on-one relationships. I suppose there’s a higher way to consider it, and that’s by taking a step back and spotting that networks are without a doubt ecosystem. Consider the surroundings approach many tech corporations use, which means that developing generation and enterprise fashions that benefit all participants in the ecosystem. I trust in drawing close your networks inside the equal way, wherein your function is simply to percentage facts, create possibilities and guide others in methods that make the atmosphere you’re in that a good deal stronger.

Earlier this 12 months, I connected a friend working at HGTV with a real estate entrepreneur. I knew that one became writing suggests for HGTV and the alternative had a charming tale to inform about improving groups at a completely local level. My purpose turned into to optimistically add value to both of them, and it changed into one of those serendipitous possibilities that become a huge career pass for each of them — the new display “Fearless Fix.”

Your Network Is Your Community

Networking can often take on the stigma of being very transactional, and I’ve both heard and complained myself approximately it being a “chore.” But a shift in attitude could make networking sense like a much extra inspiring activity. I want to remind myself that my network is a network that I’m constructing and that I ought to take ownership of this community. By that, I suggest that I ought to keep it and supply returned to it without awaiting something particular in return. The hazard of wondering transactionally is that it’s far a shortsighted way of networking and can, in the long run, cause an extra restrained network. A community, alternatively, lasts a long time and could come together for you at surprising moments.

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The component to recollect is that networking doesn’t constantly have to mean something, and it simply shouldn’t be an instant income pitch. You may also clearly be influenced to live in touch or hook up with a person due to a shared interest or revel in — try this, and allow the end result surprise you.

I’ve discovered that it’s now not approximately networking, the verb, but as an alternative your community, the noun, and a way to grow amplify and nurture it in a manner that advantages no longer just your self however the other participants as properly. It’s a distinction in angle, but via looking at your network from above in place of out from the middle, you’ll be capable of giving extra for your network at the same time as also gaining extra from it.

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