Thursday, September 16, 2010

Making Contacts

When you edit and write advice for job seekers, you quickly come to learn the importance of networking—all the experts say that it's a crucial aspect of not only a modern job search but also career development.

Network or perish, they say. Even I say it in a recent HotJobs article, "How to Turn a Stranger into a Network Contact."

I have to be honest—this is a case of "do as I say, not as I do": I'm not a great networker. Shyness is my primary problem. And shyness is a killer (in my case, it often gets read as stuck-up-ed-ness, I hear).

Personal improvement becomes easier when you set small realistic goals for yourself, so I'm going to do that for myself. I'm setting three networking "challenges":

1. I will attend the next professional networking event I can, and I will introduce myself to at least three new people. I'm a member of several professional groups that have social events I don't attend (there's that shyness again).

2. I will update my blog at least once a week, and I will link to it from my online social profiles.

3. Right now, I will do something helpful for a LinkedIn contact I rarely speak to.

Do you have trouble networking? What realistic challenges can you set for yourself?


3 comments:

sarahjpurdy said...

Excellent advice, Charles.

I, too, suffer from shyness, which is often misinterpreted as stuck-up-ed-ness... I am trying to network more as well, by joining a couple of committees, taking some professional development classes, and being more active in online social networks. Once I'm out there, I usually feel okay -- it's the getting out that's difficult. You've inspired me to set some goals for myself. Here they are:

1. Attend professional meeting next week and become ACTIVE member of at least two committees.

2. Start a blog in the next two-three weeks.

3. Connect my blog to my online social networks.

Thanks, Charles!

sarahjpurdy said...

Charles! I've created a blog. It's very new and not polished yet, but it's a start: http://sarahjpurdy.wordpress.com/

Charles Purdy said...

I love it, Sarah! I'm going to tweet your post.