Thursday, July 19, 2007

Start Networking Now (and Grow Your Career)

Welcome to the Fun With Networking blog. I've been thinking about starting this blog for weeks now, and all sorts of ideas for great blog posts have been bouncing around in my head. Now it's time for my first post, and I'm wondering where to begin.

Well, if professional networking has taught me anything, it is to simply begin – to make that first call, go to that first seminar, volunteer for that first activity.

Why am I writing about networking? Because I am networking myself. I am learning first hand about the importance of building my network of professional contacts, and I want to share what I've learned. I know it's tough to network, but I will tell you something I've learned: Networking is Fun.

Even for an introvert like me, it can be fun. There are definite benefits to being plugged into a large social network. I'm among the first to learn about new trends, products, and ideas. I've been invited to exclusive events to hobnob with Royalty. I've met people who know several of my closest friends, yet I had never met them. Even more importantly, I've become a connecting point. I bring people together when I see they have common interests, and people seek me out because I have connections.

On one level, I start this blog to share my own personal career search with my friends, colleagues, and professional contacts. On another level, this blog is intended to help others who are doing their own professional networking find the knowledge, tools, resources, and courage to do it successfully.

There are all sorts of books, seminars, websites, and networking groups that you can read, attend, use, and join. Some of those will be covered here in this blog. None of that is as important to your ultimate success as making that first call. And then making the second one...

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