Hello! Welcome to episode 19 of I’d Rather Stay In. This week, we are covering the ins and outs of a necessity that we love to hate: Networking!
What the hell is networking?
At its most basic, networking is really just making connections.
Why is networking important?
Both of us have managed to get most of the jobs we’ve ever had through networking.
If you want to move ahead in your industry, make new friends, find contacts in your area – you need to get to know a lot of different people (aka network).
When you think of it as getting to know people and building relationships with people, the whole thing becomes so much more palatable.
How do we network?
Megan suggests finding people who are off by themselves at events. She finds it easier to ease into things when you’re with people who may also be nervous about the situation.
Seeking out one-on-one connections is easier for us and also leads to better, stronger relationships in our experience.
We’d rather leave an event with a small handful of deep connections than a whole bunch of very surface-level connections. We’re more likely to remember those deeper connections later down the road and touch base with them in some shape or form.
We also do not believe that work needs to be the center of every conversation, even at a professional event.
Don’t go into networking wondering primarily what you can get; instead, go into it thinking about what you have to offer someone else.
Keep an open mind that a good connection can come from anyone and anywhere. Don’t write someone off just because you don’t think they have anything to offer to you upfront. Meet people for who they are.
Why is listening so important?
You can’t learn anything about someone else if you aren’t actively listening to what they’re saying. People notice when you don’t listen to them, both in the moment and when you follow up later on.
Social media can be a great way for introverts like ourselves to network. Look for opportunities to meet people locally as well – play groups if you are a parent, for example.
Think of personal interactions in your daily life as chances to network in a real, genuine way. You’re always building a network of friends and contacts and you never know when that might come in handy.
Other stuff we mentioned in this episode
On Your Feet Foundation provides much-needed services and support to birth parents.