Why Networking Must Be More Than An Event

I was riding the bus recently and a gentleman who seemed to be around the same age as me sat in the seat next to mine. He started reading a book called Treasure Hunt: Inside the Mind of the New Consumer. The title immediately prompted my interest, so I cautiously interrupted him to ask what the book was about and why he was reading it. I found out that he worked for a youth engagement company and he was researching new ways in which young people communicate both on and offline. Related: Why ‘Never Talk To Strangers’ Is Bad Advice For Grads In our short conversation, we discovered that we not only have a number of mutual acquaintances, but that in our respective jobs, we struggle with a number of the same challenges. We took this as an opportunity to exchange business cards, and we committed to sharing resources and tips with each other in the future. I think what this experience demonstrates is that we can’t be afraid to proactively engage with people, whether on the bus or not, and that in terms of career development, you have many opportunities to network with people beyond strictly “networking events.” It is very rare for strangers to talk on the bus. I would almost argue that this type of engagement is almost none existent. You’re supposed to get on the bus, look down, read your book, play on your iPhone, but certainly not talk to the person next to you. For some reason, we’re hesitant to simply strike up a conversation with someone unless we know we have something in common (e.g. went to the university, same profession, etc.). Somehow, we forget that the thing that we have in common is that we’re both humans, and we have the gifts of speech, the ability to reason, and social intelligence, that exclusively human capability to navigate and negotiate complex social relationships. Not only that, we forget that there’s the potential to learn something in every encounter we have with somebody new. That’s pretty awesome when you think about it. I like how Jeff Haden puts it: “You already know what you know. You know your opinions. You know your perspectives and points of view. That stuff isn't important, because it's already yours. You can't learn anything from yourself. But you don't know what other people know, and everyone, no matter who they are, knows things you don't know. That makes them a lot more important than you--because they're people you can learn from.” From now, make an effort to find ways to engage with new people; you never know what new connections or new knowledge you’re missing out on. This post was originally published at an earlier date.


Related Posts

Why Networking In Person Still Matters 5 Quick Tips For More Confident Networking 4 Essentials For Networking With Strangers On LinkedIn   Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if your co-worker took credit for the work you did...right in front of your colleagues AND boss!

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Cam submitted. He's been working at a job for awhile, but recently overheard a hiring manager making fun of a candidate with autism right after an interview-not only awkward, but VERY unprofessional!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if witnessed a hiring manager at your organization making fun of a candidate who they had just interviewed who had autism.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

Starting a family is one of the biggest milestones in a person's life. It's in those first few months when a parent can really bond with their newborn and make lifelong memories. However, for some new dads, it can be difficult to juggle being a new parent while remaining dedicated to their career.

Fortunately, some companies have generous paternity leave policies that give new dads the ability to take time off of work to stay home with their child.

SHOW MORE Show less

There are LOTS of questions around resume dos and don'ts. There's so much advice out there that it can be overwhelming to try and figure out what's the correct answer.

During our weekly live Office Hours on YouTube, two of our coaches, Ariella Coombs and J.T. O'Donnell, answer questions live from viewers related to their job search, career success, on the job situations and more.

We complied a simple list of what we find to be the most common questions our coaches get about resumes. We hope you find this helpful.

Let's start with the basics...

SHOW MORE Show less

Back in March, we made the hard decision to change our private Facebook group of over 37 THOUSAND members to a fee-based only platform.

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if a recruiter called you a day EARLY for your phone interview (and you were NOT PREPARED!)

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

If you caught our last video in our latest series, "Well This Happened..." you heard about the problem one of our viewers is having with their co-worker. To recap, they have a colleague that overshares a little too much, and they weren't sure how to go about addressing this. We had some great responses from our viewers on how they think our friend should handle this. Check out the answer below and let us know if you guessed right or not!

SHOW MORE Show less

Negotiating salary can be a scary, intimidating experience. However, if you go in prepared, it doesn't have to be that way - you can confidently negotiate for a salary you deserve. But how?

SHOW MORE Show less