The Art of Networking


I am peeping my head from outside of self quarantine and social distancing. I have primarily been writing in my journal. Writing longhand is therapeutic. I am an optimist, who was born to optimist parents. They were realists but usually saw solutions even in the worst situations. I am indeed their child. However, the year 2020 has tested me just as it has with everyone.

A dear sister-friend had plans to have a large wedding in June. Our sista crew from going back to elementary school, through high school and college had planned to do the bachelorette festivities in Vegas in May. Well we know how that went, the universe said a big fat NOPE!

However this year and specifically August brought some unexpected opportunities that I had not planned. Well maybe I had planned them because I was prepared. My preparation began with me coming out of my shell in college; volunteering for organizations and even political campaigns in which I believed. Everything I did to have a recent unexpected opportunity required me to engage with different networks of people.

I have to admit I never understood what networking was when I was in college. I was a member of my Black Student Union (BSU). And I also was a member in the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Attending a predominately white institution, I sought out people who looked like me. And in doing so began to build a network of not just friends but future alum and coworkers.

I’m not able to expound on the how or what makes me write this blog post. What I will say is knowing what future you desire and finding people with common goals starts your network. I have not purposefully looked for people who would benefit me in the future. I seek to have sincere interactions with people. However, I do build my contacts from people I’ve met along the way. This works for me but you may have a different method of building your network.

The key component that I find common no mater the purpose of your network is sincerity. Entering a situation with an ulterior motive can lead to hurt feelings and the opposite effect of building a strong network. Also a network built on deception or lies has a weak foundation just as though it were built on sandy ground.

Finally understand why you are being active in whatever it is you’re doing. Even if it’s to learn more about a person or organization do it sincerely. One day I can share details but for now I’m living my best life and building a strong network along my journey. I hope you now have tips on building your own strong network.

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