The Lost Art of Networking

I recently came back from the American College of Healthcare Executives meeting in Chicago. I go every year and always enjoy my time there, especially this year when the temperatures reached every day somewhere between 75 and 85°. I always take this time to meet with as many executives I have connected with in the past and I use it as an opportunity to connect with those I have not.

I did meet with one gentleman who provided me with some feedback and even though I was already aware of it, it really struck a chord. He shared with me how people network with some of the things he finds to many to a complete turn off. 70% plus of the jobs are found networking and we spend so little time on it and we do it so ineffectively.

  • We continue to circumvent the process and go right for the kill
  • We sound desperate
  • We expect people who don't even know us to refer us to people that are important to them or opportunities they have a vested interest
  • We want it all in one meeting
  • We see it as all about us, no concept of reciprocity
  • We do not see it as important that we bring value to the meeting also
What we need to remember is that:
  • Networking is not transactional, it is relationship driven
  • It's only purpose is not just to find a job opportunity
  • It's about connecting with people – not just networking. Networking can be very shallow
  • It needs to be seen as a process, not a one-time deal
  • It needs to be reciprocal, even if it means only asking the question, “How can I help you?”
  • We need to cast a wider net, a more informational approach. Make it easy for people to want to talk to you. If you never connect with them you can never build a relationship.
  • Be sincere
  • Focus on what you can control
Being Introspective in Your Career Changes
Thanks for the Networking

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