Confessions of a non-networker

Make that a former non-networker… I got this paragraph from the LinkedInPowerForum that I’m on and found it too familiar for me… I think this is where I was at about a year ago before I became something of a networking champion:

I do agree that the ability to conduct a job search is an important part of career management. For me, having stayed with one firm for 22 years, I can firmly say that’s one aspect I have not mastered, and I am now quickly coming up to speed on, out of necessity. However, I always knew it was important for me to network, in case I ever needed to conduct a job search. I never did it. Perhaps because I was busy. But mostly I told myself it was because I felt phony doing it. I mean here I am trying to be your friend so that I may use you in the future. It didn’t sit right with me. But now that I have to network, I see it in a new light. I understand now that even if you are not looking for a job, it is important to have people that you can touch base with for advice. And that even if we all know that we are networking for professional reasons, there is still a very human element to it, and the opportunity for lasting friendships. So I no longer feel phony about it. I guess I just needed to be shoved in the pool. The water is fine!

I loved this paragraph because this pretty much sums up my pre-networking thoughts. Phony, using people, etc. And “I knew I had to do it but I didn’t”… that was me, and probably at least 50% of my current readers (I’m guessing)… I didn’t start networking until I had to, and that was kind of too late. BUT, it really isn’t too late. Perhaps a new years resolution for 2007 for you?

Where do you stand? Do you represent the pre-version of this statement or the post-version of this statement?

3 thoughts on “Confessions of a non-networker”

  1. I represent the post-version, although sometimes it’s a struggle not to revert. Funny, I’ve always known a lot of different people. But, it’s been more random and on the surface.
    Actually networking adds another layer, makes it more permanent.

  2. Jason,

    Sometimes the people I meet who have the greatest fear of networking end up being the most successful at it. So many people feel that in order to be a good networker you have to be extremely extroverted, aggressive, and full of yourself. But the reality is that networking is based on reciprocity, trust, and authenticity. Once people realize that they don’t have to (and shouldn’t) compromise who they are, networking becomes less of a chore and more of an extension of who they really are.

  3. awesome -> “Sometimes the people I meet who have the greatest fear of networking end up being the most successful at it.” I think that’s because they begin to realize that networking is just about making and developing meaningful relationships – not just passing out tons of business cards.

    Thanks for the thoughts Francie and Barbara 🙂

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