networking is not entertainment

April 14th, 2012 § 1 comment

Pop singer Michael Jackson at the White House ...

Pop singer Michael Jackson at the White House ceremony to launch the campaign against drunk driving. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

networking is not about dressing up, mingling with famous people, drinking cocktails or beer or anything else, it’s not about increasing your visibility or clout, or about checking in with other people etc…

networking is working, and that’s working on a very specific set of activities, which is completely different from the ones listed before.

  1. unless it’s a really huge party (1000 people, several floors etc.), introduce yourself to the host. it’s the only way you can make sure you’ll be invited next time.
  2. do your homework! who will be there? what’s their background? do you have any thoughts for them? how are your worlds connected? why would they want to talk to you? or why should they talk to you? these questions you should know answers to before you show up, for everyone in the room if possible! every time! you have no right to come up to the guest of honor and asking “so what does your company do?” you’re wasting time for everyone else in the room! and don’t you dare ask that question at the public session, because the other person has no gracious way to get out of it without wasting everybody’s time.
  3. don’t small talk! or do so only in the first 10 seconds of each conversation, to break the ice and show your language skills are sufficient. nobody goes to networking events to hear more about the weather, food, drinks, politics or your personal life. don’t waste the time and energy i’m trying to spend in your favor by talking to you!
  4. you don’t have to talk to everyone in the room, but try sticking around long enough, to talk to at least one person. you have to buy the ticket to win the lottery. and after you do, follow up!
  5. don’t read these points and nod your head and think ‘what assholes some people are’ – I so know you are doing the same on every event you go to. it’s human condition to be egoistic and we all have to work to overcome it all the time. fuck you, be humble.

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