The other day we had a lady named Patrisha come in to the College for us to talk about networking and developing our understanding of the practical and other uses of the act of ‘networking’. It was an interesting talk filled with discussions about what networking meant and how to network effectively, with development on how to keep calm and what you need to network.
I already had an issue with the idea of this talk from the beginning due to the subject area, as I have developed a dislike for the term ‘networking’ as I don’t feel it’s the correct or appropriate term to use. The talk overall had some useful points and was interesting to see how this is approached from a more business like sense, but I still did not agree with the approach and idea overall. I think it’ the idea that people would simply go to events to hand someone a business card and expect to find a job without any real intention of getting to simply meet more people within the same field. Sadly more times than any I’ve had people just want to give me or seen people give a business card and then leave without much more than a “hi, what do you do?”.
Patrisha did see the idea of networking through the means of getting to know people as well though of course and wasn’t to simply get a job, but the other ideas are still within the teachings. There are too many terminology that have bad connotations to what ‘networking’ is meant to be, looking at it as a means of selling yourself, to get more ‘resources’ and to target people you want to talk to. I have always done a bit of background research on people and wanted to talk to specific people within the after parties of events or other meet ups, but the idea of simply targeting them is somewhat odd and wrong. You could probably see my view of networking from my notes that I made below, but I do understand the importance of talking to other people and getting out there as it has helped me so much through the people I now know, but this is the wrong way to approach that in my mind. I feel as though if I am to attend these events and I want to meet, work with and get to know more people, I aim to talk to people I either really admire and love their work of, not just aim to get work or know someone because they work in the industry. I see it as if I was to talk to someone, it is because I simply want to get to know them and meet more people and not to simply get another contact. I understand that this is only just one approach and it works for some, but this is just my personal take.
We were also given sheets on ‘Making the Most of Networking Events’ and ‘How to Make Networking Work for You’.