Learn why I love to network and how networking can help you take your life and career from “good” to “great”.
I have the best job. I get to meet fascinating, motivated, talented, creative people and through my work, I am able to help them go from good to great. That is why I love to network.
Over the years, I have learned that networking is one of the most powerful ways to take your life and career from good to great. In my own experience, I have transitioned from lawyer at 4 large NYC law firms to a French law firm to the French Institute Alliance Française to consulting with a partner to consulting on my own and now to my coaching and training business. Except for 2 of my law firm jobs, every single one of these opportunities came about because of networking.
For me, networking is not about “selling” myself. Instead, it is a way for me to connect, share with and be relevant to someone else. Not everyone you meet is going to become part of your network. The trick is to find the folks whom you resonate with and with whom you can share knowledge, experience, information and contacts that you both can benefit from.
Many young professionals wonder why an older, well-established and perhaps famous person would want to meet them. For starters, these older, wiser types were once young starry-eyed newcomers and someone probably gave that person a great piece of advice or opened a door or two. People remember that and want to give back.
In addition, people who are involved in and/or support arts organizations want to be kept up to date on what is happening in music and the arts. They are eager to meet with the emerging generation because they care about the future of the arts—and you, the young professionals, are the future.
Finally, people love to talk about what they do, especially if you are not asking for a job. This is an opportunity for you to learn more about what a seasoned professional does and how he or she got there. And along the way, you may just make the powerful connection that can propel your career forward.
For me, I do what I do because I believe profoundly in the importance of the arts to our world. It is what makes the difference between mere existence and meaningful existence. So why do I network? Because by connecting with artists and sharing what I know about helping them to achieve career success, I feel that it is my way of making the world a better place. Thanks to all of you out there for helping me to live my life purpose.
© Astrid Baumgardner 2010