My name is Julie and I am a recovering networking naysayer. I thought networking was a waste of time. I ate lunch at my desk, to get even more work done during the day. I skipped get-togethers with family, friends, colleagues and peers, usually with the excuse that I was exhausted from my 80 hour work week. I only spoke to those who spoke to me first.
But then my life changed. I learned in late November of last year that the position I created and poured my heart and soul into was being eliminated December 31. I thought something that started with O and ended with T. Now what? I never fathomed this would happen to me. Suddenly, the networking that I loathed became my most important focus.
Here are the easy three “W” networking nuggets that I outlined for myself. Keep in mind I’m an introvert, so for me to say this is easy, truly anyone can do it:
- Who – Family, friends, former colleagues, peers, past clients, mentors, bosses, professional coaches
- What & How – Teleconference, lunch, coffee, happy hour, email exchange or Skype. Use the phone, email, websites and social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Meet Up is particularly good for finding in person groups of people around subjects that are important to your line of work.
- Where – Planes, job fairs, networking events, your kids’ sporting or school events
You will be surprised at how eager friends are to pass along your resume.