Networking: the art of knowing a guy who knows a guy.

I attended a pretty blah networking workshop the other day but managed to walk away from it with some  not-so-blah food for thought:
Networking–you can and should always be doing it. Although workshop instructors make it out to be a science, it’s really more of a life philosophy. It’s the the acknowledgment that anyone we meet at any point can take us to new and exciting places regardless of whether they help us out or we help them out.

Networking is about coming to terms with the fact that by yourself you are a pretty small entity, but with links to others, your reach is infinitely broader and your possibilities increase exponentially.

Sound good? Okay, so where do you start?

With the very next person you encounter.

It means genuinely taking an interest in the people around you without a specific end goal in mind. After all, you can’t pin point a goal until you have some information, so just go information digging. Make it your mission to keep searching until you discover something about the person that
surprises, intrigues, or excites you. Keep exploring till you hear yourself saying: “Oh! Really?” And focus on listening, asking open ended questions, and thinking of how you or someone in your network could help this person out. Introduce people to one another whenever the opportunity arises. Remember also to network with people you already now. The person who is now your physics homework buddy can also turn out to be an event planning guru or know someone who is.
So connect yourself, connect others, then reconnect–as long as it’s genuine and you are interested in the give as much as the take. Let’s make this world a more collaborative sandbox.

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