Find your perfect career marketing strategy, with Julie Walraven!

Why is networking so hard?

All professional resume writers and career coaches preach networking. The correct form of networking is a personalized networking that builds relationships or nurtures old relationships. What networking is not is speed dating as I said in this post.

You aren’t trying to connect with a massive amount of people. Rather, you want to create the opportunity to be a resource for other people with a hopeful goal of them being a resource for you. Ideally networking is done best long before you need it, as Harvey MacKay said in Dig your Well before you are Thirsty. Unfortunately, for most job seekers and even entrepreneurs, networking is done mainly when you are in trouble.

Are most people lazy networkers?

Actually, I don’t think most people don’t network because they are lazy. Some don’t network because they never understood the concept and never spent any time reading or learning about networking. I would guess that many people who don’t network are afraid to network. They visualize large gatherings and passing out business cards. They think that because they don’t see themselves in the business world, networking must only be for those people who are in management or sales.

Engaging new advocates

The graphic for this post says what I mean by networking. You are looking for people to be your advocate. I would suggest this meaning from Merriam Webster for advocate:: one that supports or promotes the interests of another.”

Are you afraid to network?

If you are, you are not alone. I confess, I am both shy and an introvert, though you wouldn’t know that from my presence online or from working with me in a client relationship. However, for all of my life, I have struggled with group events even when I know the participants and even when I am friends with many of the people in a room. I get scared and have even been known to back out or just stay busy in the background rather than networking. I gave it another try this year for awhile. I made a big push to get out there.

I found that despite trying the group networking, I like being one-on-one more. I didn’t really see any results from more networking so now I will go back to picking and choosing my networking. I truly look forward to my Christian Business Leaders group that meets monthly for breakfast and have built many great relationships there. I also enjoy the quarterly group that my new friend, Kat Savyannah  from WritinRhythm pulled together by using LinkedIn, the words marketing, and Wausau, WI in a search. We’ve met twice and it was fun both times.

Transition from group networking to one-on-one

If you struggle with groups, do some searching to see if there are any that make you feel comfortable. If not, don’t despair, you can still network effectively by using a one-on-one strategy. Invite someone you don’t know well to lunch or coffee. You can network and get to know each other. I actually got to know Kat when she asked me to connect on LinkedIn and we decided to have coffee. She offered me a ride and after giving her my address, we discovered she lived right down the street.

See there may be networking opportunities for you just down the street. You never know. Think about the word advocate and the word nurture today. And then take a step forward and connect with someone from your past, from social media, or someone you want to know better.

To get your job search launched with an outstanding resume, simply click here!

Photo Credit

4 Responses to Why is networking so hard?

  1. Nice post Julie. Like anything, networking takes practice. I’m generally shy working a room but if I pretend like I’m the host, I see opportunities for introductions and service all around me.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Brent. I do very well if I have a job at an event. Registration, whatever, but if I am just there, it is hard. It is not so hard if someone comes with me, even better if that someone wants someone with them. I feel like I’m needed then.

Client Testimonials

Interested in working with us? Check out some of our client testimonials below!

Global Marketing Director

Fortune 500 Company, Pennsylvania

“Hey Julie, Just a short note to say thanks for your help with my resume. It was a great help for me in landing a couple of opportunities that led to offers.”

Senior Vice President

Banking, Maryland

“It has been a whirlwind since you completed my resume, a lot of changes to the organization in light of the merger, a busy market, and as well a lot of folks making decisions to leave versus stay.

For me, an offer was made that I will be accepting. I can tell you my resume has been met with rave reviews so I trust you implicitly, have recommended you, and will be a customer for life as I may need to re-engage you.”

Office Manager

New York, NY

I wanted to find someone who will work with me live, so I can explain all my responsibilities and accomplishments to a literate professional, who will then be able to put it into right words and create a “WOW” resume for me.

Next day I woke up and for some reason my gut told me to work with Julie, so I called her, and boy was my gut right. I am so happy with my new resume and cover letter, I have a second breath for job search. We worked live on Skype all the time, I could see exactly what she was doing, and I couldn’t ask for a more personalized experience for my money.

Executive Vice President, Marketing

Boston, MA

I wanted to reach out and let you know I landed my next exciting opportunity! On March 28, I'll be joining ABC Company as their EVP Marketing. The fit couldn't feel more perfect! I'm so excited and can hardly wait to get started. Thanks so much for everything you've done to help make me look good! :) It worked. (again!)

Career Change

Transportation Industry, New York, NY

"My first walk-in transportation company (ABC Freight) and my first job opportunity! I can't thank you enough!"
His goal - the transportation industry. He was ready to leave a successful career selling Manhattan real estate to follow his passion!

Instructional Designer

University, Wisconsin

“I highly recommend Julie as a professional career management consultant. Her ability to assess her clients needs and desires, and then creatively collaborate with them to create an overall digital profile that truly represents “who they are” is amazing.

It was time to give my professional profile some pizzaz, and create a professional online presence, and the first person that I thought of was Julie. After working with Julie as a professional, I can say that the service Julie provides is nothing short of the way to (as her web site states) “find your perfect career marketing strategy”. Give her personal face-to-face strategy a try!”