Why Your Networking Sucks Balls

on February 2, 2012 | in Work | by

Wanna know a secret?

Your networking sucks.

In fact, your networking more than sucks– it sucks freaking balls.

No worries, though. Mine used to suck, too, until I discovered the secret: stop networking altogether.

Thus begins my guest post that was published last week over on The Brazen Careerist Blog. Well, minus the “balls” part– I guess Brazen is classy enough to edit that part out. Me? Not so much.

For a dose of awesomeness, go ahead and check out the full post below:

>>> Why Your Networking Sucks —  And the Secret to Doing it Right <<<


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[Image by nicoritschel]

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  • Was going to comment over there, but decided to hit you up here instead, since you had no comments here, and I wanted you to have at least 1…

    So the trouble in my industry is that the people I am networking with (or marketing my skill set to) are often boring people whom I wouldn’t typically befriend. In fact, the field is generally boring. But it’s how I make a buck, and there’s really no backing out at this point (not without major life changes). So while I completely agree with your points, I don’t see any practical career application in my world (if that makes sense). Which is frustrating.

    I end up making friends with people at networking events, but these people quickly fade out of the business. As a result, my business generation/development suffers because I’m not connecting with the movers-and-shakers. To paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield, I’m friends with a bunch of people who can do me absolutely no good. So now what?

    I play the game, go to the events, flash fake smiles, hand out business cards, and never really gain much traction. Oh, and I die a little inside each time…

    Guess it all depends (in part) on what you do to bring home the cheese.

    • Haha… thanks for the one comment! When I put up links to my guest posts, I don’t really expect many (if any at all) comments or shares here since I’m redirecting people to the full post. BUT they’re still nice to get! ;-)

      You have a good point, and I agree with you. If your career field is just how you “make a buck” but you don’t really have a real passion for or connection to what you’re doing, and if you don’t really relate to people in your field, then you’re probably stuck playing the “traditional” networking game.

      “Friends with a bunch of people who can do you no good…” agreed again.

      I hate to say it, but if you want things to be any different… if you want to connect with the “movers and shakers,” you’ve got to either be doing something you’re more into (and with people you’d want to be friends with and connect with), OR you’ve got to somehow become more “into” and more passionate about what you’re already doing– and then seek out some more awesome, less boring people (who may exist, they just may sparser & harder to find. Is “sparser” a word?).

      Awesomesauce attracts awesomesauce. Movers and shakers want to connect with other movers & shakers. If you want to really, really succeed (& not just be mediocre), you’ve got to find your own awesomesauce and “do what you do” with a genuine passion. This is what will draw people toward you.

      One suggestion if you’re unhappy: try focusing on events & activities you love (outside of work) and see what firendships/work/business opportunities develop from there. “Work backwards,” if you will– instead of leading with the career, lead with the friendship. It may lead you into new work/business opportunities AWAY from your “boring field”– and WITH people whom you already share a connection with:

      “Joining clubs and organizations is a terrific way to find like-minded people, but only go when you have an interest — and don’t attend endless networking get-togethers. Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone, says he has never been to an official networking event. Instead, he advises, join organizations that focus on the events and activities you love.”


      • I hear you, and I rock at what I do, but it’s not a field that lends itself to excitement. So what now?

        You’re an accountant–is there much excitement in accountancy? To advance to the top at a big firm, I’d think you need connections with a bunch of stuffy, boring guys who don’t give a rat’s ass about people on the bottom-to-middle rungs. There’s the idea of making connections with others on your rung, so you all advance together, but that assumes advancement–it’s a chicken and egg problem, advancing without the contacts is tough, getting the contacts without advancing is tough.

        Unless I am way off about what you do…

        This all, of course, reflects my own biases about what equals “success” I suppose, so there’s that too…

      • Oh, and thanks for taking the time to reply. You seem pretty smart and insightful–I dig it!

  • I love the pictures you use with your posts by the way.

    I’m going to go and check out your guest post now…

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