- Networking can seem awkward, gross, and generally useless. But there are ways to make it feel like less of a chore and more of a path toward a fulfilling career.
- We browsed Quora and Reddit and asked career experts for the best tips on networking productively.
- For example: Bring a wingman to networking events to brag on your behalf and to talk to about something other than work.
A few years ago, I went to a networking night for media professionals, hosted by my alma mater.
I said hello to a few people I recognized, sat through the presentations without asking any questions, and as soon as they were over, made a beeline for the door.
Rest assured, that’s not the way I normally behave at networking events. Normally, I don’t go to those events at all.
Judging by the number of Quora and Reddit threads on the topic, it seems like I’m in good company — a lot of people think networking is awkward, and/or gross, and/or generally useless.
But the key, according to the people who’ve posted on these threads, is finding a way to make networking work for you.
If you don’t relish the idea of handing out business cards, or having 60-second conversations with 60 different people in a single night, or asking for favors outright, you don’t have to. There are other ways to find jobs — even dream jobs! — and learn more about your industry.
Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best networking advice out there — advice that can help you forge a path toward a fulfilling career.