The fundamental importance of professional networking for today’s career-minded tech pro has been pounded into our heads for many years now. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” gets spouted by everyone who gets denied a job or interview, and there is certainly some truth in the saying. The mere thought of hobnobbing with other technologists at an event may instill terror in many (myself included at times), and most in the industry yearn to be evaluated purely on technical skills and not the ability to shake hands and make solid eye contact. If you are repulsed by the notion that elbow-rubbing skill may be integral to career success, or are uncomfortable in traditional networking situations, please continue reading – it’s less necessary today than most think.
When visualizing networking, most probably picture a room full of people segmented into smaller groups of varying size having discussions. (Googled “professional networking”, was not disappointed) It could be an industry conference, meetup, or even a more social event such at a bar or restaurant. The images will be appealing to almost no one except perhaps salespeople, and even many of them may shudder.