5 Ways To Keep Networking Fresh And Productive

networking, fresh, productive, job search

On Friday I wrote a post about networking burnout.  The question:  Are you getting tired of it all?

Based on reduced attendance at local networking events, burnout was suggested as a possible reason why (i.e. networking is not delivering the goods).  Or people have stopped doing it effectively.

And I’m not sure how you are feeling about it.  Because you haven’t told me yet.

Today’s post is about how to avoid the fatigue.  If that’s what you are feeling.

Fatigue, whether the cause of reduced attendance or not, is real and leads to frustration.  Because all this time you spend attending events needs to deliver value.  Some kind of progress.  If not, you might decide it’s better to go back to scouring monster.com.  At least that way you can drink your own coffee and relax at home.

So here it is:

5 Ways to Keep Networking Fresh and Productive

1. Find Some New Events – If you have become cozy at your favorite event, you may need a change.  Or an influx of new events.  If you go to meetup.com or LinkedIn, it is easy to find additional groups in your local area.   And you can even look for a group in the next town over.  If you can imagine yourself commuting there, shouldn’t you be networking there?

2.  Reinvent Yourself - It doesn’t have to be a dramatic extreme makeover.  But it is important to give yourself some new content.  Maybe you write your elevator pitch all over again.  And think of some new reasons why people should see you as memorable.  Having new content will freshen you up like an Irish Spring commercial.  And if you start whistling along, you will start feeling better about being away from home on a Monday night.

3.  Avoid Your Friends Like The Plague – Hopefully you’ve made some new friends in your networking practice.  Fellow job seekers who share your industry, passion for networking or coffee of choice at Starbucks.  How wonderful that is.  Now ditch ‘em.  Run to the hills.  Because it is likely you are spending way too much time with them.  And disengaging from the process of meeting new people.  New contacts will lead to other new contacts and potentially new job leads.  Plus it gives you inertia.

4.  Take A Productive Day Off – A reminder for some of you who’ve been reading here for a while.  But taking your focus off of “you” for a day or night will fill you with good karma and good feelings.  Of course, in this case, productive means taking a day off to focus on the needs of others.  Selfless networking.  It feels good and may add some new perspective on your own situation.  You can also take a day off to do something important around the house, with your spouse or your kids.  In fact, there are 101 (other) things you can do while looking for a job.

5.  Think Long Term – If you see networking as a means to a short term end (finding a job), then the process will feel very different.  You will have expectations that, if not met, will leave you feeling wasted.  Tired and unproductive.  But if you see networking as a long term business and contact building effort, you might find more joy in the process.   And see that while there is short term, practical value.  That the real benefit is down the road.

So yes I’d like to hear from you.  Have you experienced burnout while networking for a job?  How have you kept it fresh?

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