Is networking a dirty word?

If you're like most comics, the word networking makes you want to throw up a little. But then again, I've heard a comic who's good at meeting and greeting say, "The hang time is as important as the stage time." Along those lines: Tech guy Reid Hoffman offers up lessons on "building a truly helpful professional network."

In the next day: Look at your calendar for the past six months and identify the five people you spend the most time with -- are you happy with their influence on you?

In the next week: Introduce two people who do not know each other but ought to. Then think about a challenge you face and ask for an introduction to a connection in your network who could help.

Imagine you got laid off from your job today. Who are the 10 people you'd e-mail for advice? Don't wait -- invest in those relationships now.

In the next month: Identify a weaker tie with whom you'd like to build an alliance. Help him by giving him a small gift -- forward an article or job posting.

Create an "interesting people fund" to which you automatically funnel a certain percentage of your paycheck. Use it to pay for coffees and the occasional plane ticket to meet new people and shore up existing relationships.

I guess if you change the word networking to "making friends" something like that it makes the whole endeavor seem a little less distasteful. Still, plotting out your friendships feels a bit stiff to me. Then again, typing "lol" or "haha" during a text message makes me feel like I'm a prostitute so perhaps I'm not the best person to ask about all this.


0 Comment(s)