Networking… Love it or Hate it?

January 8, 2011

by Christi Borden

I absolutely love networking. This is one of the things in life that I know I do really well.  I always have. It is as much a part of me as my arms and legs and as effortless as breathing air. If you put me in a room with just one or one hundred other living souls, I can guarantee you I am networking – and usually not for business. I do it for pleasure. I truly enjoy meeting new people and getting know now more about them. The fact that my business benefits, I assure you, is purely accidental.

Alternatively, I know it is something that I scares the pants off of many others. I think one reason is the word “networking” has gathered a negative connotation throughout the years… Bringing forth dark and dreary visions of pushy salesmen, pyramid schemed promotions, and endless and painfully boring functions.

But can I ask you to look at it another way…

It really is something we have done all our lives. Of course, when we were kids, we called it “playing “. When we grew to be teenagers, we called it “hanging out”. As we became young professionals, we called it “Happy Hour”. So, now that we are finally grown ups, we find ourselves using the dreaded word “Networking” to describe the simple act of getting out there, meeting new people, making new friends and hopefully building relationships along the way. Now, that doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

So have you decided: Love it or hate it?