I hate networking.
Or, at least, I used to back when I thought that networking meant chatting it up with some old guys about how awesome they were and hoping it would result in a future job offer.
That was before. Now a college graduate thrust out into the work world, I’ve found that networking is not the ass-kissing game I once thought it was.
The purpose of networking should be to find people you like – not people who have something to offer you. The truth is that everyone has something to offer. The point is to find them, organically, before you need that something. Go to events that interest you to find people who are interested in the same thing. Don’t be concerned about their job title or their skills – those things change. Be concerned with finding interesting, intelligent people, who you genuinely like being around. Find them, and talk with them. Hang out with them — at the event, and more importantly, after it.
Make a point of catching up with them once in a while. Find out what they’re up to. What’s changed since the last time you spoke with one another? Have they read anything interesting? Had any crazy ideas? Talk about it over lunch.
It is often these relationships, sparked by a chance encounter at some fleeting event, on which partnerships are formed and ideas are realized. Sergey Brin and Larry Page met when Sergey was tasked with showing Larry around Stanford’s campus. Sam Tarantino and Josh Greenberg, co-founders of Grooveshark, met for the first time at a meeting of The Entrepreneurship Club at the University of Florida. It can happen to you, too.
It’s worth pointing out that simply liking the person is not the ONLY prerequisite that should be met before working with a person (or more importantly, founding a company with a person) – they should also have a complementary skill set. But liking them is a good foundation on which a business relationship can be subsequently built. You need that foundation before anything else.
The most alluring part about this type of networking is that, if done right, you end up where you want to be, working with the people you want to work with. This is because when you do the things that interest you with people that you enjoy being around, it opens up more opportunities to do things that interest you with people that you enjoy being around.
Design sneak peek!
Looking for the “Get It” Moment
Candid from Barcamp Orlando
Learn more about Feathr.
How to make a Chrome Extension in 2 minutes and 17 seconds.
Welcome to Feathr, Mara!
Android app in the home stretch.
Thanks, Florida Business Report
Congratulations Tasha for winning the Innovation Hub’s Peep Diarama contest!