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?


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:

Charles Purdy said...

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