This is a social world: so much valuable intellectual stimulation – and most jobs – come from personal connections. But the networking thing can seem daunting to people who haven’t been doing it in any serious way. I do like to gather people around me that I can reach out to for advice or connections – and you should too.
Much of the time you will use your networking to keep yourself informed – what is going on in the business, what new tricks can you learn. At some point you will want to meet someone at a particular company or industry sector. You may want to learn more about where an industry is headed or you may want to find out what opportunities there are for you. Then you’ll be glad you have a decent network to call on.
But don’t think that you only need to talk with people in your own niche. Those people can be good connections of course – but remember when you are at that fundraiser or family reunion or cocktail party or gym, that bankers and accountants and lawyers all know people in lots of other businesses. A Marketing Director that I work with just got a great introduction into a corporation she was targeting – from her hairdresser.
So don’t discount them because they are not obvious sources. Give them the chance – ask them if they know anyone in television or design or advertising or film or music – and you will be surprised.
(Yes that is Audrey Hepburn in her party scene from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. And yes she is wearing a towel. Apparently a previous scene in which she was still in the bath when guests started to arrive was cut out – and she had to improvise.)