The Power of ‘You Never Know’ Networking

never know networking

As a society, I believe we suffer from predictable immediate validation.

We need to know what we are getting and we want it now.

I think this is why most people hate networking.

I don't believe people hate it solely because they are socially challenged.

I think most people hate it because they don’t know who they will meet and when/if it will pay off - and they don’t want to waste their time.

I will be the first to admit, despite what I do for a living and having the honor of pontificating in your inbox each day, that I struggle with this too, sometimes.

I would rather do something I know can bring a result, even a small one, than do something that could be a waste of time or not bring a concrete immediate result.

I get it.

But here are some examples why I go out and network anyway:

  • I had been looking for someone to do my website for almost 2 years, but I could never find the right designer. I never gave up, and I went to a conference for a completely unrelated topic that led me to meet a person who 6 months later referred me someone who redid my website - and it looks FABULOUS. Check it out: 
  • I attended a Society of Human Resources Management learning session to maintain my certification a few years ago. In all honesty, I really did not want to go. But I did. After the session, I didn’t leave. I went up to the presenter and thanked her for the presentation. We got to speaking and, in a nut shell, she introduced me to a recruiter that turned out to be one of my biggest referral sources and business mentor. We are still really good friends to this day. 
  • I went to a breakfast meeting with a fellow career coach. He was looking for someone to hire for his team. I met him, and it turns out I was not the right person for what he needed. However, 10 months later, I received a call from a prominent NYC hospital system saying they were recommended to me by this career coach I had met, and they wanted me to do a presentation to their employees on “How to Write Your Resume to Get Promoted” to help them increase internal hiring. 
  • I met with a former coworker for lunch, when I still worked as a recruiter, and we had a great laugh over a bite to eat. No Agenda - just fun. Two months later, I called her to put feelers out for a new job. She set me up with her CEO. I met him. Nice meeting - he thinks I am great, but there is nothing open for me at the time we met. Fast forward 8 months later, CEO calls “I have an opening that you would be perfectly suited for. I don’t want to interview anyone else until we speak again. I haven’t posted it yet either.” Um, okay. I met them and I got the job. I started the following month. The job was never posted.

I can go on and on…

You don’t have to always have a result from a meeting.

You can just go to meet people and see what happens.

The possibilities are in the connection.

I think we get too caught up in checking off to-do lists and result-i-fying everything.

Well, here is a result-driven goal for you:

Just go talk to 10 people this week, because "you never know".

That’s it… No result from the chat needed. The result is the chat.

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