I’ve always gotten a bad vibe from people at networking events. Most people are there to be the smartest kid in the room, puff out their chests and prove why they’re great, or feign interest in hopes of finding talent to exploit. I suppose that none of this is surprising because most people are average and need to hide that fact.
John Sumser describes this problem and provides worthwhile solutions to counter it in his post, Networking Is Not Working. SURPRISE! The solutions all involve hard work, which most people are unwilling to do. Instead of spending time working hard on shipping a great idea, people schmooze to feel like they’re getting things done.
I love the statements at the end of his list of solutions. Here they are, cut out:
- Being known as a net contributor is worth 75,000 fake smiles.
- Being known for your work is worth 100,000 insincere compliments.
- Flaking out and not keeping up with your membership is minus 90,000 gold stars.
- Being knowledgeable is worth 50,000 conversations with feigned interest.
- Being a good friend is worth all of the money you will ever make.
- Being relaxed and self-confident is worth 30,000 LinkedIn connections.
- Being good for your word is worth all of the other elements combined.