What this means for you: You absolutely do not have to network hard if you know how to network smart. Two hours can be plenty if you know what you’re doing and can maximize your time. I actually spend less time networking now than I did when I started, yet more opportunities–and higher quality ones–are coming to me.
Unfortunately, few people know how to make those two hours count, so not only are they not putting in the right amount of time based on their effectiveness level, but they’re also not doing the right things during the time they do spend. A double whammy!
What this means for you: Networking that infrequently means you never build the skill to really make networking work when you do try to do it. You waste time, reinvent the wheel, and sometimes burn bridges unintentionally. This makes you have to work even harder the next time.
Think of the constant training that athletes go through for 50 seconds in the pool, 4 minutes on the balance beam, or 2 hours on the marathon course. They don’t just show up on the day of the event, hoping for the best. They do everything they can to prepare for it.
What this means for you: At the beginning of chapter 3 of Smart Networking, I discuss why getting ahead is not about WHO you know, or WHAT you know, or even who knows YOU, but it’s about who’s willing to help you. Just because you meet someone at an event, or even worked with them at your last job, can you really count on them to go out on a limb for you?
Are you the kind of person they want to help? Are you asking for help in the right way? These are critical skills every smart networker needs to master.