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Networking: Lifestyle vs. Tedious Task

Geeta | June 24, 2011

I attended my second Career Circle meeting this past week and the hot-button item on everyone’s list was networking. Everyone wanted to network more, and build their contacts. I know I’ve covered networking in a couple of previous blog posts, but I’m uncovering more and more thoughts based on personal experiences that I feel are relevant, and useful to share. To get to this train of thought, here is what has been running through my mind lately:

Do you realize that we spend hours, days, months and even years planning for events that are usually celebrated in a matter of hours?  Take weddings for example or better yet, graduation.  We spent years learning about different subjects, testing our skills in a work environment, doing group based projects or sitting in classrooms taking tests, and what do we have to show for it at the end of the day? A piece of paper.

This sounds a bit bleak, doesn’t it?  Well, for more a more uplifting thought, knowledge of any sort will never hurt a person, in fact, somewhere down the line, that one fact that you thought so useless may end being the one fact that leads you to a million dollars on an episode of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? This all may sound a bit farfetched but given that most of the people reading this are at least in their early twenties, I am sure that we can attest to the fact that life really is like the New York State Lotto Jackpot- “Hey, you never know.” In any case, in any event that takes a long time to end we build memories that stay with us long after the event has passed. We also meet people and build networks.

I recently came across an article that encouraged people to think of networking like a 24 hour job. It sounded exhausting at the time, but if you think about it, we are unconsciously networking everywhere we go. Essentially, networks are just connections, right?  Well, in that case, connections start at home, grow to your friends, touch the person you buy your morning cup of coffee from, and keep growing. Think about a time when you were given an opportunity by an unexpected contact.  We are always leaving an impression on people, no matter how ephemeral or long-lasting. We may not always have our game face on, nor do we always do our best with every situation because they are times when we are just plain tired, but I hope the information above will create a little more self awareness. You never know what outcome of any situation will be, no matter how big or small.

Questions, comments, concerns?  Please share them here!

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