Anne Fisher writes the workplace page for Fortune Magazine. Career and workplace dilemmas and reader questions are her specialty. Quite often it's about looking for a job (on the same page as the networking article, a reader asks the best way to send a resume and I have to admit that Anne's advice is right on).
Anyway, this article from the April 4th edition, was pretty interesting. And it has applications for not only job seekers and people managing their career, but also for me in my job because now networking is a big percentage of what I do. The whole concept of networking may be a little uncomfortable for some people, perhaps in its extreme, because folks don't want to turn into one of *those* people...you know, the super slick, schmoozy people. Or the LinkedIn connection collectors. There's just so much opportunity to do networking poorly. But when you do it well, people hardly know it’s happening. They’re just glad to know you.
Right now, my approach, because I refuse to become one of *them*, is to really think about the people I come into contact with and how we can help each other. If we can't, that's fine...I file the name away for another day and still offer whatever assistance I can. It obviously works both ways. I have to say that it has been so much fun talking to people that I wouldn't have known (mostly because I didn't have the time) in my previous roles.
The short article talks about introvert versus extroverts and makes the point that introverts can network and it becomes easier with practice. You may find this hard to believe, but I consider myself an introvert and have really been working on changing that (it doesn't change in my personal time though). Keith Ferrazzi makes the statement, "Generosity is the key to success."