I used to hate the idea of networking and the term in general. When I thought of people who were networky I thought of people who were slimy and manipulative. I thought of people who had what I call “Hollywood eyes,” meaning they’re only halfway in a conversation with you, while scanning the room for someone “more important” to talk to. I thought of people who would promote someone else that wasn’t a good person, so long as it would help their career. Ultimately, I used to think that networking was just sleazy and bad. But, that was when I truly didn’t have my network. I was brand new to my line of work, and everywhere I went, I felt like an outsider. The brain has a way of condemning things it doesn’t understand to protect itself. Now that I do have a network and I actively network, I see things differently. Here are good and bad ways to network.
Good: looking for ways to help
Looking for ways to be of service to others and to make connections between people you know who could genuinely be good for each other is a great way to network. Being a bridge between two individuals who will benefit from knowing one another will pay off. They’ll always remember you for doing that.