Networking Is So Much Better – and Easier – Than It Sounds!
Published: September 30, 2016 by Kate M. Spaulding
For many of us, networking sounds terrible, not fun, icky, boring, an activity for “old people” (where “old” = whatever you think!), overrated, old-school, intimidating, awkward, anxiety-inducing, formal, and other less-than-optimal adjectives. But it doesn’t have to (and really, shouldn’t) be terrible, and it can be super-helpful for your career.
Networking can happen virtually and in-person, or even transition from virtual to Real Life. For instance, I’ve met lots of people here at the iSchool, and I’ve even connected with some of them on LinkedIn or Twitter. Doing so is a baby networking step.
Networking with Friends
However, I was fortuitously grouped with some awesome women back in INFO 204. Post-project, we’ve kept up via extremely long group email chains, social media, and a couple of in-person lunches. We have shared school and work frustrations and triumphs, personal losses, cover letters for editing, job postings we think another would be well-suited for, vacation photos, and podcast recommendations. In short, we’ve become friends.
We have also become a small network of people situated in various parts of California, on various career trajectories, and with varied LIS interests. Did you catch that sharing of job postings? That right there is networking in action. A few of those leads have turned into actual, paycheck-earning positions, and others are now ongoing volunteer gigs. Each new role has given us new skills, new experience, new lines on a resume, and new rungs on our career ladders.
On Wednesday, October 5, Jill Klees will be hosting a Collaborate Workshop that I urge all of you to attend. Entitled Tips and Tricks for the Reluctant Networker, the session will teach us how to start conversations, develop our personal networking style, keep networking connections alive, and more. I hope to learn some techniques I can use to improve and level up my networking game and my career. See you there!