The majority of people view networking as a hassle, but just like eating your vegetables, it is good for you. How good is it though? In a post at A Girl’s Guide to Project Management, Elizabeth Harrin spells out six benefits that make it worth the hassle:
- Networking is spotting opportunities.
- Networking builds relationships.
- Networking is expected.
- Networking is good for your projects.
- Networking can further your career.
- Networking is a virtuous cycle.
Harrin begins with an excellent example of networking gone wrong. She discusses a time that she was at a PMI conference talking to Clark A. Campbell, author of The One Page Project Manager, when some random guy came over and talked about only himself for a long time:
When he excused himself[,] Clark said to me, “That was a missed opportunity for him.” He had missed the opportunity to talk to Clark – an expert on project communication and reporting, and me – an expert … and although he knew who we were and what we had done he asked us nothing beyond that. He didn’t get anything out of the conversation (and neither did we).
That’s not networking, that’s just filling up time with meaningless chatter. I remember the incident for how bad it was, but I have no clue today who that man was. So much for making an impression.
So if you think of networking as selling—as perhaps this nameless guy did—you will not get far. That is good news, because non-narcissists typically do not want to sell themselves anyway. Rather, just think of it how it really is—a chance to meet and get to know interesting new people. The more people you can befriend (and chat with on LinkedIn, etc.), the more resources you will have to help you on future projects in unexpected ways. Likewise, since so many job opportunities are unadvertised, having a large network might be the only way to get clued in to really great ones.
If done right, networking can become a cycle of positive relationship- and career-building. For further thoughts, you can view the original post here: https://www.girlsguidetopm.com/6-reasons-why-networking-is-important/