Only the most masterful networkers engage in this type of relationship. Infinite horizon networking is building relationships with people whose expertise seems irrelevant to you today.
On the surface and in the short term, they might not be useful to you at all. But they're interesting. And the fact that they are not plugged into your usual channels actually means they have the potential of becoming your most transformative relationship because they are exposing you to new ideas, people, and opportunities.
MORE IDEAS FROM 2 Kinds of Professional Networking That Work--And One That Doesn't
This is where "networking" gets a bad reputation: you introduce yourself to someone new for only one purpose--you need them for a job, an investment, or a sale. Short-term networking makes you look desperate.
Try to follow this rule: no 'asks' for a year. For example, let's say you meet a person who is well-known in the field in which you want to build a career. In your first email exchanges or conversations, you should avoid making an ask of any kind. Sometimes, in the short term, aggressive maneuvers work: people fold and say yes in the moment. But in the long run, it never does.
The best networkers think long-term. You can start building long-term relationships by identifying people in your field who are doing cool things or whose work you admire.
You don't have a specific ask in mind: all you know is that this person is worth getting to know.
When given the chance to meet new people, make sure you do it. As you never know when somebody might prove useful, why not being sociable and trying to broaden as much as possible your circle?
The professional benefits of networking are well-documented. But if the very thought makes you squirm with discomfort, you aren’t alone.
Networking makes people feel morally impure, especially workers lower on the professional food chain who see engaging in networking as selfish. Still, failure to network has real consequences for workplace performance.
New research suggests that, for those who loathe happy-hour meetups and employee get-togethers, a change in attitude could be the ticket to a bigger network and more productive career.
Friends do business with friends.
By no means is this a suggestion to go be one of those social climbers who pretends to make friends in the name of getting to the top. It's more about having genuine connections, with openly stated goals, aspirations and struggles.
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