29 February 2008
There is a great piece in yesterday's New York Times (28 February) by Michelle Slatalla on using LinkedIn and similar network sites to actually make business connections. In Building a Web of Influence, she writes:
My problem could be networking. Or more specifically, a lack of it. I work in a basement where my only business contacts are my dogs, which appear unimpressed by my résumé. And on rare occasions when I venture aboveground to attend an event with the sort of people who should be only too willing to offer stock options in return for my grandmother’s chocolate cake recipe, I get tongue-tied. I blush.
On the Internet, however, no one can tell you’re self-conscious. Business networking sites — from the five-year-old site LinkedIn.com to an upstart called NotchUp.com — attract members by stating that reluctant self-promoters like me can make contacts, and even get job interviews, fairly passively.
she goes on ....
Slowly, I began to see concrete signs of the value of passive networking. One day, a first-degree contact asked me to introduce her through LinkedIn to one of my other first-degree contacts, a writer at The New York Times who my friend thought might be interested in a book she wrote. She phoned soon after to say thank you; the writer had responded right away.
A few days later, the same newspaper writer coincidentally forwarded an introduction to me from one of her first-degree contacts, a magazine editor looking for a humor writer.
Meanwhile, another first-degree contact told me her daughter had landed an interview after learning at LinkedIn that the interviewer and she went to the same college.
In my case, I’m too busy now to change jobs. But someday, after my dogs learn to turn doorknobs with their paws and my husband’s cough finally breaks up, I will be ready.
I only hope that by then, the Exxon recruiter I see listed among my third-degree LinkedIn contacts will be searching for someone with expertise in “weekly allowance arbitration.”
It's a great piece. Take a look at it.
Posted by Stan Wasserman at February 29, 2008 1:20 PM