The Harvard Business Review states networking is a waste. Why do you ask?
“Building the right relationships — networking — is critical in business. It may be an overstatement to say that relationships are everything, but not a huge one. The people we spend time with largely determine the opportunities that are available to us. As venture capitalist and entrepreneur, Rich Stromback told me in a series of interviews, “Opportunities do not float like clouds in the sky. They are attached to people.”
Many feel networking, and building connections are the paths to desirable jobs, invites, and the in-crowd. However, this article states that 99% of networking events are a complete waste of time. Rather, stay home, go to sleep before 8pm and don’t try too hard.
“The key to networking is to stop networking. Nobody wants to have a ‘networking conversation,' especially those who are at the highest levels of business and politics. They are hungry for real conversations and real relationships. It just has to be authentic, genuine, and sincere. I don’t look at people’s badges to decide if they are worth my time. Davos is 3,000 influential people, and I need to be selective, yet authentic, focused, yet open to possibilities. In the end, I put myself in the most target-rich area and then just go with the flow and spend time with who I enjoy.”
Michael Goldberg begs to differ, claiming we are constantly networking online (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), and we are losing the personal touch. Michael encourages networking events and describes networking like boxing, the more contacts you make, the improved opportunities you have to leverage a personal connection. Michael leads a TEDTalk for Rediscovering Personal Networking.
What do you think? Waste of time, necessary evil, or the way business should be done?