I don’t like networking. There, I said it!
It feels artificial, superficial and any other official way of saying it seems forced. You stick a bunch of strangers in a room and ask them to tiptoe around business behavior and social decorum to arrive at a single truth: Everyone is here for themselves.
Where do you work? = Are you worth my time?
What do you do? = How can you help me?
What’s next? = Will your job be available soon?
Never one to do well with subtlety, I always missed the mark and either talked too much or revealed too little. It took me a long-time to learn that networking has little to do with me. Good networkers listen more than they speak, and sitting back to enjoy the show takes all of the pressure off nervous networkers, like me.
The secret to successful networking is a four letter word. Talk. But remember to list more than you talk, and you can get along with anyone.