Monday, June 28, 2010

Making a Little Effort at Networking - Part 1

I’m not a big networking person. I know that it’s good for my career, but I’ve been lucky enough to get myself fairly well known, my picture is on daily emails from SQLServerCentral, and so a lot of people know of me. As a result, I don’t have to do a lot of networking.

However I have started to make it a point to do some short sessions with people I don’t know at events. It’s easy to spend time with people I know, and that is valuable, but that doesn’t expand my network, or help me find people that I might want to know better.

So I’ve started to do two things that help here.

1. More than a Thank You

Quite a few people want to say hi to me, shake my hand, or even ask a quick question. So instead of saying “thank you” and moving on, I decided to try and do more. As people do engage me, I stop, take a few minutes, ask them a question or two, get to know something about them, and make sure that I don’t disengage for at least 2-3 minutes.

In doing that, I’ve found a couple things happen. The first is that I tend to remember the person more so that I recognize them again. It means that I have a little more of a connection, and it might lead to more interaction later on.

I can also potentially get some good ideas. I’ve heard a few cool things about SQL Server or careers from a few people that I’ve stopped to ask a question about. Someone told me a LinkedIn story that helped them get a job. Someone else told me how they use SQLServerCentral, and that’s valuable information for me. Another person gave me some insight into their job, which is for a media company and that was just a neat thing for me to hear.

For Part 2, tune into the next blog entry.

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