Having Networking Thrust Upon You

Some are born networkers. Some achieve networking. And some have networking thrust upon them.

I feel like I’m a combination of those last two. When I arrived in the DC area, I had networking thrust upon me. But then I had to work to achieve it as well.

It’s not that I’m antisocial. It’s that I’m particular about who I’m social with. I actually enjoy engaging in what I call, “Being antisocial in public.” This is where I go out with a friend to a bar and we talk only to each other, and when guys try to cut in we tell them to get lost: it’s girls’ night in. Except that we’re out. But mentally, we’re in.

But DC has a way of dragging you out of all of that. Just last week I got very confused when I was networking with a woman, and she told me about how her daughter was having trouble meeting people in DC. “It’s a hard city to meet people in.” I refrained from raising an eyebrow, but thought to myself, “You mean like the way you’re meeting me right now? You mean this is hard?” Conclusion: If your daughter has trouble meeting people in this city…your daughter might just flat out have trouble meeting people.

For all you people in college struggling to learn to network (and I know there’s a lot of you)–don’t worry about it. I feel like there’s a specific time for that to happen for each person, and you’ll know when it is. You’ll find yourself propelled into the networking social scene, and you’ll get the hang of it, and you’ll realize why all the stuff you google on how to network is horrible, horrible advice written by people who have never had a genuine social interaction in their life.

If for some reason said phenomenon does not happen to you…I wouldn’t worry about it. It’s probably a sign you didn’t need it to begin with. Some people don’t. They’re lucky and generally seem happy with their lives, and in many ways I envy them. Read: non-networkers can definitely rock out too.

It can be rough. The advice I have for you is this: know yourself. And only get a piercing when it’s already so much a part of your identity that you feel weird waking up in the morning without it, and you don’t care what people might say–because you will have to deal with it. That’s when you’ll know you’re making the right decision.

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