Monday, March 9, 2015

The Impact of Networking on the Gas Tank

Finding a new job is all about beating the bushes, and that means networking.  A lot of networking.  

Old coworkers.  Previous vendors.  Contacts of contacts.  Headhunters.  Everyone is fair game, and it is a tiring experience getting in front of some of them, or even getting on their radar screen.  It is a lot of emails, phone work, coffee, lunches, dinners, and beers.

While each networking meeting has some value (it beats the hell out of applying for work on company websites, which is another rant in and of itself), in no way are all networking meetings positive.  Not all all.  Some can leave you feeling defeated, doubtful of your employment prospects, and downright depressed.  

The result of meetings like this is that they "take" from you - they take your energy, your optimism, and in some instances your confidence and belief in yourself.  Given these past meetings, I've made a promise to myself to not re-engage with these negative contacts, regardless of how desperate things get.  They literally can take days to recover from.

Fortunately, there are some networking engagements that are just the opposite - they "fill" you - with confidence, enthusiasm, optimism, and faith.  They're definitely the exception in the networking experience, but the energy they provide justify taking as many meetings as possible to see if one of these happens.  They are that powerful.

So that's the goal (other than to find a job) - make sure the meetings taken ultimately add more gas to the tank than they take out.  A tough balancing act, indeed, but a critical one.  

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