In the spirit of 2013 resolutions, I have decided to take up networking seriously. In our world, almost everything depends not only on what you know but also who you know. Let’s face it. It is not humanly possible to be all-knowing. We need to share in order to grow.
Hence, I am currently working on upping my game by improving my networks. Last year, saw me talking to people but not really taking that extra step to reach out to them, to build a relationship However, I promised myself that I won’t become a user. I want to create meaningful relationships where I will be mentored with the hope that I can mentor someone else and at least open a door or two of possibilities for them.
I realized that if I continue waiting to be picked or singled out by some important, influential person who will whisk me away to career bliss, there won’t be difference between me and Cinderella waiting for her Prince Charming #AintGonnaHappen. Fairytales should be left to Walt Disney who know what they do best.
That aside, I sought help from a couple of online buddies, who didn’t hesitate to offer a wealth of resources.:
- Sarah urged me to just start. The power of one makes all the difference
- Deborah Mills-Scofield shared with me her own history with networking (apparently, it runs in the family).She emphasizes on the power of the ask where she says:
Too many of us worry that asking will appear self-serving, even if it’s not. We fear rejection. We fear looking stupid. Perhaps some of us actually fear hearing a “yes” — what would we do then? It’s tempting to say that asking takes courage. But really, think about it — what’s the worst that can happen? You’ll hear a “no.” No one’s going to throw you in jail.
- I know, that some of you express yourself better in writing than verbally like Akhila and me or maybe just to follow up with your contact when they say,” I am a bit of a hurry right now, but you can send me an e-mail”. Trying shooting them one without annoying them. On that note, Seth Godin has this tit-bit to share:
The world revolves around me. Me, me, me. My favorite person: Me.
I don’t want email from you. I don’t want junk mail from you. I want me-mail.
- I stumbled upon Anna Runyan’s Classy Career girl blog, a couple of months ago and she has such great advice. She shared her own experience through the 4×4 networking challenge: How to actually go about it. She goes further to offer tips on networking and informational interviews and an action plan.
- Dorie Clark told me also about becoming your own best gatekeeper. Cathie Black echoes this issue in her book Basic Black, the chapter on Landing your Dream Job when she cites an instance when she discovered her executive assistant had sent a Hearst Mug to her doctor’s assistant. Psst! She gave a couple of secrets
This year, I am going all out to say thank you to the people who make an impact in my life (whether great or small) . I now have a great excuse for buying beautiful, wonderful stationery. Any Image consultant will tell you the power of investing in yourself through buying classy yet not-break-the bank material…which I gladly use as an excuse and at least someone understands me. 😉
What are your own networking experiences? Any horror stories? Any good tales? Have you taken the 4×4 challenge? I would love to hear from you and advice that you have to share.