You are networking or notworking

5 Nov

So what should one do after the initial “hi .”

Networking is the art of small talk that is universally dreaded, needed, and confused at the same time.

A good introduction could be simply by asking for directions, seeking advice, or praising something interesting in others. Beyond that it requires a different set of skills. We might have someone’s card or email address but that does not mean we are part of one network. Each person is a part of network.  A group of people he associates with; Some he calls his friends. Networking process is much easier if it is practiced as “connecting to a network” rather than I am networking with so and so.


If we keep that in mind then the importance of networking with different people of various stature in the network becomes important.

Here is a concerete example. Lets say you move into a new city, for example, New York. If you are an architect then each member of the architecture community in NY is your potential network. People in that network know each other, their work, and opportunities. This network is closed due to human nature of protecting ourselves and not a malice against newcomers. Aah, you thought we will change past kindergarten. So the trick is the same, you approach one member of the network. She will become your introduction to the rest of the network.

It reminds me the of the movie Donnie Brasco, where Johnny Depp is introduced to the family (mafia) through Al Pacino’s character. Same is true in networking for business. Someone in the family has to vouch for you. May be not as obvious as the mafia but still someone has to take a chance on you.  So a secretary working in the architect firm of your choice has more information because she is in the inside of network.

So next time you meet someone at the party, show interest, have respect, be honest, and you will be amazed how many people will love to take you to places.


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