Thursday, October 20, 2016

Networking with People Outside Your IndustryFlaw



     I agree that we need to network outside of  our own niche.  I've spent many years meeting a lot of people , but most of the people I kept in touch with were from the projects or jobs I've worked on or at.  Doest help when you need a job or project.

     Most jobs were somewhat the same niche of individuals so it wasnt like I spent much  time with the marketing or advertising or finance  folks.  And if I did meet people outside technology, it was more as "here is what I need, go do it"  relationships. Not exactly a friendly way to network. 
Even today tech workers are still looked at as outsiders in many places.  Even when we pretty much create and design things that run the world. So it's hard to develop relationships with people who look at you as an outsider and only talk to you when something is wrong. 

     The funny thing is I've been a consultant in the past and  people still viewed me as this outsider at many of these firms. Some were even tech consultants who knew nothing about technology really. So it is not easy to connect with  people who view tech people as bodies and nothing more. 
and some of them assumed anybody can do it. No wonder many projects fail. 

     So for all the networking realities, Ive also noticed people who are great at networking with everybody and anybody, but  usually aren't good at actually implementing anything.  Good people.  Smart people.  They aren't doing any tech work though. 

     There are plenty of places where the person who was great at networking and handing out donuts and apples and alcohol after hours  got bonuses and promotions. And the people actually doing all the work didn't get anything.

     Networking outside your field is necessary, but at the same time , breakfast with new contacts ?   Many people drop kids off or go in Early or travel for work , not everybody is free at 8, 9, 10am.
      I will  tell you that  many events and meetups  in San Diego   and Los Angeles are scheduled for 10am or 1pm or 4pm. During the middle of the week no less.  These events and meetups    are not for people who want to expand their networks. They are for people who already have money or don't have jobs.

      Even in the gig economy , it's not exactly easy to be "free" in the middle of the day and week.  This is why sometimes these articles seem to speak of people who aren't part of the real world where the rest of us live. Or they have jobs where going missing for a few hours in the middle of the day or morning is not noticeable.
I am all for getting work done and it doesn't need to be 9-5.  But many places don't let you do that at all. So you adjust. 

  Easy to go to all these breakfasts and lunches when you don't need to be anywhere all day everyday.