Networking, or just plain talking to people, is how the majority of people find jobs. But, wow, are there a lot of crazy ideas out there about networking! It’s often confused with information interviewing or mixed up with stuff that’s not networking at all, like networking parties or network marketing or aggressive sales techniques. Some books actually tell you that networking is the same as cold calling, or even suggest that it includes tricking people or stretching the truth.
There’s a chapter on the Seven Search Techniques in Orville’s book, The Unwritten Rules of the Highly Effective Job Search, explaining their pros and cons and how to use them. And Highly Effective Networking is all about how to best use the one technique that experts agree is a central piece of job hunting.
But I have no network!
I’ve got to admit that I’ve never had the knack or the skill for networking. I’ve simply tried to deliver the best service I can and let the customers I serve network on my behalf. But showing up to seminars or attending conferences seems so far out of my range of time commitment that I cannot help but view those activities as a waste of time. Clearly, they are not. Clearly, other folks use these events to build a network. When I taught English I found no value of attending literary conferences where there would only be fawning praise for esoteric interpretations that were met rarely with any conflicting opinion. And this I saw at prestigious universities. Labor unions with their faux job security give you the false impression that you don’t need to network or seek career guidance. I certainly didn’t see that I needed to network, that I needed to talk with other principals throughout the district and in districts outside the one I worked in.
I created this page today, Saturday, February 18, 2017 in response to Gary North’s Tip of the Week. His Tip of the Week suggests using Toastmasters as a way to network. I’d like to hear more. He’s big on developing public speaking as a skill, a rare skill. But how does this skill translate into networking?
So, go to a seminar or conference or trade show. But where to begin. Start here at Eventbrite.
Here is a list of Exhibits for 2018. Doesn’t hurt to plan something.