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“I Got a Full-Time Job, So I Can Stop Networking.”


Robby

I was at a networking event on the north side of Indianapolis just last week, and someone fired off that statement. They explained they were previously of out of work. But then they landed a full-time, paying gig, and announced “Now, I can stop networking!”

I don’t want to be mean, but this is absolutely crazy. Stop networking because you got a job? No. You need to always be networking. (And if you think you don’t, you probably have a weird view on the definition of that word.)

Don\'t Stop Networking
© Flickr User banditvskronik

If you buy that logic, here are some other things you can “stop doing” once you “have reached” a particular state:

  • Once you finish school, you can stop learning.
  • Once someone agrees to be your spouse, you can quit making romantic gestures.
  • Once your house is clean, you never have to clean again.
  • Once you’ve signed up for a gym membership, you never need to go to the gym.
  • Once you’ve marketed your business once, you don’t need to invest in marketing anymore.

These examples may all seem a little pedantic, but each one represents the same issue with person’s mindset. They are thinking of an activity as a burdensome task rather than a personal value.

Is learning just something you have to do, and then you can quit once school is over? Not if life-long learning is something you value.

Nor is being a loving, romantic partner, or having a clean home, a healthy body, or a successful company.

So what is it with networking? Why do people say crazy things like:

“I got a full-time job, so I can stop networking.”

I think the reason is that they view networking as an icky, smarmy process by which you needle people you barely know until they give in and pass your résumé along their boss.

But that’s not networking. Instead, networking is being helpful. It’s reaching out to colleagues and friends to see how their doing. It’s paying attention to who needs assistance and offering to step up. It’s connecting people who are asking to be connected, but just don’t know each other. It’s being known as a useful, cheerful person, so that others also want to help you.

Don’t stop networking because you got a job. Always be helpful. You never know when you’re going to be the one making the ask.

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Tue, November 25 2014 » Career Planning and Goal Setting

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