3 Principles for Effortless Networking - Deepstash

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Pursuit VS Attraction Interactions

A "pursuit" interaction is often done with the expectation of a gain.

Most interactions—especially 1-on-1 interactions like informational interviews and direct messages—fall under this category. You're engaging because you hope to gain:

  • information about a role
  • information about a company
  • the possibility of a referral

An "attraction" interaction is done without expectation of reciprocity. You're:

  • sharing what you know because you want to help people
  • engaging with others because you love what they do


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The Networking Paradox

You can't have only one type of interaction.

There are always new things to learn, whether you're just starting out or already established. This requires you to reach out to people and learn from them—a form of "gain" and thus, "pursuit".

However, if 99% of your interactions are pursuits, you could easily build a reputation for being "transactional"—someone who only interacts with people who are "useful", and overlooks those who are not.


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Principle #1: Come from a place of curiosity

  • Get curious about the topic and how you can provide value to others in the field
  • Get curious about the people you find interesting

When you lean into your curiosity, you'll do more research before publishing that piece of content or reaching out to that person.

The interactions feel less icky because you did your due diligence, increasing the quality of the interactions.


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Principle #2: Be very, very self-aware (and make use of it)

To prevent social overwhelm and exhaustion, you need to be clear about:

  • What kind of people you want to be around
  • What kind of activities/interactions you do better in
  • What ratio of "Pursuit" VS "Attraction" works best for you

and use this knowledge to decide:

  • how frequently you network
  • what interactions and activities you engage with

These preferences and capacities will change over time, especially when you network more and step into new roles in life. And that's okay!

Experiment and double down on what works, then review periodically and adjust whenever needed.


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Principle #3: Accept that people are complex and will change over time

Society likes to label people with their career roles.

But labelling reduces us to one-dimensional characters when we're inherently multi-dimensional.

  • Multidimensionality means we'll have multiple interests.
  • Multidimensionality means we'll have multiple aspects of life to take care of.
  • Multidimensionality means we'll have multiple changes in perspectives.

Accepting that people are complex and will change over time is how you can best support people through their inevitable career and life changes.

It's how you become THE person they remember—for seeing them for who they are.


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Want More Ideas Like This?

You might like my weekly newsletter, Tea For Thought!

I’m on a mission to design and live an intentional life, and I share what I’ve learned along the way.

This newsletter issue was inspired by my networking experiences in Medellín, Colombia.

I had to take a break from writing in 2023 but I hope to restart my writing in 2024. Come learn with me :)


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Developer of solutions, people, and self / Living in 7 countries in 4 years of CS undergrad at Minerva University / Intentional living newsletter 👇🏼


These are the secrets I uncovered after many icky experiences with "networking".


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