Nov 15 2011
After coming back from my trip, I feel like I’m in a much better place. I have something is definitely going to be a project, but details and such need to be ironed out.
The thing I like about my project is I have several folks to get advice from. I learn a lot, make connections, etc. I am not a huge fan of “networking”, at least what I had originally understood it to be and some of the networking events I have attended, which has been gather a lot of people in a room and hope conversation flows. It isn’t my style to go up to random people and try to get to know them. This is true pretty much about anything (friends, dating, etc.). It also has been ineffective.
For me, the following has been most effective means of networking:
- Write to people who I am specifically interested in. I ended up with my surrogate advisor, because I read a paper on something related to my research topic and he was first author, as well as someone at my university. He has been an immense help, giving advice and helping me locate people. I’ve written other people as well, who have given out good advice.
- Know the person (at least somewhat) when you contact him/her. Take some time to determine if the connection is useful. It’s one thing to email some famous person in your field, but the rationale is much more significant if you have read work by that person and have something reasons that you think you both should connect.
- Develop a relationship. I think the people with whom I have decent connections with I talk to. It isn’t just “How can you help me?” but a real working relationship. People like helping people they know. It is more pleasant, too, in my opinion.
- Keep up the relationship. I keep in contact with folks to maintain the connection.
- Thank people. Maybe it’s a no brainer, but it’s always important to thank people for the help they provide.
What other networking tips do you have that you know have worked?