Why It’s ALWAYS Ok To Arrive In Your Ropiest Granny Underpants

 

Sometimes, you’re up for quick thrills.

But at others, you want the real deal, true love, a long-term Adventure Pal.

 

Depending on which of these two you’re looking for, your attitude will be pretty different.

What good networking is, an why this affects it

Most people who say they hate networking, hate it because of what they perceive networking to be.

I’ve talked before about what networking isn’t. (You can read about it by clicking here).

There, I said that networking is just, “Talking to nice people, with whom you get on, about things that you’re both interested in”.

But that still doesn’t solve a problem my clients come to me with.

A good Elevator Pitch is NOT the answer

The reason so many people get stressed about networking is because they think they have  a small window to make a BIG IMPRESSION on an important person.

If that doesn’t happen: they won’t make a contact, that person will never want to work with them, buy from them or help their career, and the whole exchange was pointless.

This is looking at networking as one-time, now-or-never thing.

And looking at it like that is Just. Plain. Wrong.

 

Everyone knows about elevator pitches.

But, whilst I think it is important to learn a concise answer to “What do you do?”,
that answer is never going to instantly get you a contact, a sale or a job.

It’ll get you a conversation, or the possibility of further conversations.

And further conversations are where the magic happens.

A roll around in the hay or walking up the aisle?

In romance, sometimes, you’re looking for quick thrills with someone. That’s rad.

But if that is the case, you’re unlikely to expect that someone to do anything for you that a more substantially committed sweetheart would:

 
Help you move house; fix your broken lamp; listen whilst you let off steam about those construction workers who are STILL outside your window and HAVE to start at SEVEN a.m. EVERY morning, I mean, is it REALLY that unreasonable for them to WAIT until NINE?

It’s the same when it comes to helping people in your career.

Who are you more likely to help – say, by talking them up to a contact of yours?

  • The AWESOME lady you met at that conference, who had *such an interesting story about the time she went to Berlin and made that *hilarious joke when you spoke to her for ten minutes by the bar?

or

  • A longtime contact, who you meet with for coffee every few months, you know you can trust, you can guarantee (because you’ve seen in her in action) that she’s a really hard worker, smart and socially skilled in lot of situations, and who has helped you out a couple of times in the past?

You’re always going to go for the second, right?

 

Why relationships are important

You may have had an awesome time with the first lady. You may have felt she was really something special.

But the person you’ll help, is the one who:


(a) you’ve known long enough to trust (so you’re sure she won’t embarrass you to whomever you recommend her),

                       and 

(b) you have built enough of a relationship with, that she’s either helped you already, or you’re pretty sure she would if you asked her to.

 

If you want to get something out of networking, you need to cultivate relationships like the one you have with this person.

This requires a change in attitude:


Networking is all about looking for long term relationships

– not one night stands.

(Click here to tweet that!)

And in this instance, it’s perfectly acceptable to have more than one LTR, whatever your persuasion.

Networking relationships are happily polyamorous*.

 

So how do you create those relationships?

Over the next few posts, I’m going to talk to you about the MOST important rule of networking (or perhaps second most important, after ‘Don’t Be A Dick’):

Always follow up with the people you meet and like.

 

Over To You

Until then, can you think of an instance where you helped someone out with their career? Put in a good word, or told them about a position?

Did you do it because you’d had one great chat with them?
Or because you already had a relationship with them of some sort?

Let me know in the comments below, or by clicking here!

If this article made you think of anyone you know, you can share it with them (or your online friends) by clicking on one of the round buttons below.

Thanks for reading!

You rule,

xx (Yes Yes Marsha)

 

PS if you need a little brush-up on what polyamory is, click here a nice definition that I just found on google.

(and if that sounds like utter nonsense to you, click here for something from one of my heroes, Dan Savage)

 

PPS this week, I told the Yes Yes Marsha Mailer Family about a VERY unorthodox offer a member of my family made to me, why they did, and what that has to do with networking.

Want to know my best-ever client secret – and get even more advice, tips, plus stories that I won’t put on the internet? Come and join the Yes Yes Family – it’s free! Just pop your details in below:

Photo Credits: petter palander, quinn.anya, gavinzac and LaughingRhoda, all via Compfight cc

2 Comments

  • Andrea

    Reply Reply August 23, 2013

    This is sooooo right on, Marsha! Having worked in the recruiting industry for several years, I know for a fact that creating and maintaining relationships is exactly how most people are successful at getting help with their careers. Yes, it’s important – and satisfying – to have a great conversation with someone, but that’s just the start. Really establishing a relationship where there’s true give and take should absolutely be the goal.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply August 25, 2013

      Thanks, Andrea – nice to have it backed up by some empirical evidence!

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