April 20, 2008

A New Approach

Posted in Careers, Life tagged , , at 8:33 pm by Lindsay

Read With The Lobsters! – Every weekend, Katelyn and Lindsay discuss the book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi in an effort to sharpen networking skills.

Networking is no longer a dirty word. 

Until now, I’ve always felt that networking was just a nice way of saying “using people” and I’m sure to some people, that’s all it is.  But Ferrazzi explains that in reality, networking is all about helping people.  He says,

“The more people you help, the more help you’ll have and the more help you’ll have helping others.  It’s like the Internet.  The more people who have access, and use it, the more valuable the Internet becomes.” Page 16

When you think of networking in this light, it becomes easier and more fun.  View networking as a way of contributing value to the whole group, and know that you are not the only beneficient.  The more people you help, the greater your network of connections become.  No matter what level of your career you’re at, there are always people you can help.  Keep your eyes open for situations where you can be of service to a friend or colleague. 

Ferrazzi says that another way to make networking more positive is to involve your passions in the process.  He suggests ideas like bringing someone along to participate in a shared hobby or a mid-day coffee break at a cafe – something other than a standing meeting in an office.  I think this is a great way to shift the focus onto making a friend, instead of just making a business connection.  It’ll make the relationship more personal and more beneficial for all involved. 

What are your views about networking?  What are the best ways you’ve found to connect with people?



  1. buenona said,

    Great post, couldn’t have said it better myself. The git of helping others, and that is, you’re really helping yourself.

    I’m looking to meet people to network with, we should chat on sometime.


  2. People can usually get whiff of your motivations, which means to be a good networker, you have to be motivated by a lot more than wanting to get things from people. If you want to help people you’ll almost automatically be able to form an effective network.

  3. Katelyn said,

    Great post! I definitely go into any meeting with someone new (that’s outside of an office setting) with the intention of getting to know them as a person and making a friend. I try to hold off on conversations about work until I’ve asked some basics about their personal life – where they live, family, hobbies, etc. That way, the negative connotation from networking isn’t the first thing they think about. I’ve had two meetings this week over a meal where I’ve left feeling like I have another friend.

  4. […] are an amazing source of inspiration, great place for information, networking and resources. But they are also a place to keep eyeballs glued into your brand, your company or […]

  5. jrandom42 said,

    As a diagnosed Asperger’s and an introvert, social networking is more painful than stapling my head and body to the carpet with white-hot staples propelled by a 25,000 psi air gun. For those of us who have serious problems reading unspoken social cues, have trouble comprehending unwritten social laws, and get totally drained by prolonged social contact, I guess we’re doomed to being unemployed and alone. Any suggestions for us who see networking as an IEEE 802.XX standard?

  6. […] posts:College Students Fail When They Ask For Jobs Instead of RelationshipsHow to Work an EventA New Approach I’ll have a follow up post about how I applied these concepts to the last networking event I was […]

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