“Networking” is a word I often see accompanied by a slump of the shoulders, a groan or a roll of the eyes – in both women and men. We know it’s critical to our business and career success, but so often when we think “networking” we think stiff smiles, exposing ourselves to rejection from strangers and time wasted when we could be vegging after a hard days’ work. Because like it or not, when you engage in it intentionally – as an investment in your career, your business and your efforts to change the world – it is work.
However, work doesn’t have to be hard.
Remember how early in your career writing an important email could take you an hour? You struggled to get the language and the tone just right? Now you can bang it out in five minutes, but you had to focus on it to get the skill down. Business networking isn’t quite the same, but it is a business skill that can be learned so that it doesn’t have to take so much energy and so that you can weave it into your work life naturally.