I will be very honest. When I was earlier in my career, the word “networking” felt slimy to me. It brought up thoughts of people using one another, connecting superficially, and being glib. It was the exact opposite of what I liked to do, which was to authentically connect with others and develop relationships with people.
As I progressed further in my career, I realized that I was thinking about networking too narrowly. Yes, for some people, it is just a business transaction, but it didn’t have to be. I broadened my view of networking and began thinking of it as connecting with others and building a professional community. Now I love “networking” because I approach it genuinely and with openness.
I did it by doing five simple things, and it made all the difference. (more…)