No, not the business-card and cocktail in hand variety.
Or the type that’s done to get you noticed.
But true networking . . .
- Being curious enough to initiate a conversation with a new colleague to see where it might take you
- Gathering a group of contacts you can access for help when required
- Listening long enough and hard enough to someone to learn from them
- Drawing energy from a trusted group
- Opening up your mind to possibilities
- Thinking outside – perhaps throwing away – the box
- Finding joy in working with like-minded people
- Enjoying the creativity that a new experience brings
As for me? Oh, I’m no stranger to networking. I network all day long. I am lucky enough to work with the most wonderful people who energise me, support me, teach me, develop me and interest me. I have networking opportunities at every corner – they’re never hard to find. They’re coming out of my ears. I know about networking. And it benefits me every single day.
And elsewhere? Well, I’m lucky enough to have a wonderful friend I can talk to about my work. We share our work experiences, and we both understand the value of a powerful networking opportunity. She works in a very senior position in a global, private corporation. Me, I’m a public servant, public sector type of gal.
And some of the best networking we do?
It’s when we’re sitting around my kitchen table for one of our planned networking dates (I know, sad). With an excellent cup of coffee to hand and a commitment to each other to share what’s new in our working lives, and an openness to learn from each other, we learn and we learn and we learn. Invaluable.