When you stand in the checkout line at the grocery, you probably do like I do and take a quick peek at whatever celebrity story the tabloids are trying to spin, avoid looking at the candy bars seductively sitting on the opposite shelves, and maybe you have casual conversations with the checkout clerk or other people in line. “How do you like that brand? I should try some.” “Getting ready for the holidays? People like to chat, even when you’re an introvert like me. Sometimes you drift to discuss what you do and even exchange contact information. This casual scenario can happen on a plane, on a park bench, or waiting to be seated in a restaurant. You make a connection, however brief, and, like a seed, it blooms into something more a year later, three years later, or even longer. I’ve had it happen, and you can too. Does it mean you’re manipulative or conniving? No. You are connecting. And when you practice it, you will find that often something good can come of it. That’s what networking is all about. You come to enjoy it, do it well, and sometimes develop new relationships and opportunities.
Networking is a mindset. It is a strategy for life, a way to create connections that could last a lifetime and enrich all areas of your life. It is 24/7. People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.
When someone is in your life for a reason, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a situation, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may even seem like a Godsend, and they are.
Then without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, the relationship may come to an end. Sometimes the people you’ve met pass away, sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What you must realize is that your need has been met, your desire fulfilled, and their work is done. This is life and you realize it.
Andrea Nierenberg President of Nierenberg Consulting Group