Networking is just a job technicality

Posted: September 18, 2018 in Musing, Musings, networking, opinion, philosophy

Wise friend,

I hate networking, especially going to bars, with their sweet smell of stale beer.

Sensitive friend,

Hear me out: networking is just a job technicality – one has to treat it as work.
When I was at the Paris conference, I met a guy, around 55-60 years old, who manages the office of a competitor of ours. This guy was very nice, and we talked a lot. He explained how he planned his marketing material and even gave me a copy so I can draw ideas from there. He also told me that earlier in his career he lost ten years of his professional success by not networking enough with his colleagues.

For example, he couldn’t stand bars, and he could be incredibly bored with these types of socialising. He avoided them. Later, he decided that he had to join his colleagues, but couldn’t take it later than 19:00, and he left early. It took him 10 years to see that that was foolish, and he learned to accept that this type of socialising was a technicality of the job and that needed to be there and network. Since then, his career took off.

Doing your job very well is never enough. Networking creates an atmosphere of comfort. Therefore, one has to treat it as work. I could fully understand what he said as I felt, thought, and acted the same. So slowly, slowly I had to change. Many colleagues go to footy. This month I’ll give up my refusal to attend, and from time to time I’ll join and treat that as work.

Years ago, I befriended the head of a charity in our city. He is a typical secular guy, sent by a charity organization from abroad. I asked him how he coped with going to the weekly religious events of the community. He was calm about it. The community would not accept an ‘outsider’ who would not partake in some activities strictly related to the religious traditions, such as the main holidays, weddings of others, and religious events for his own family. His company sent him to succeed for this charity in our city – it was part of his job description. He treated attendance to religious events as technicalities and didn’t feel any burden as one is not to expect to enjoy every moment of one’s professional life.

I advise others. I failed at networking. You?

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