I Do Not Believe In Networking
I recently had an unpleasant experience. Someone reached out with an opportunity that was supposed to be mutually beneficial. I explored it. Turns out it was total bullshit. Institutional exploitation. It was like a friend trying to sell you into bonded labor.
Obviously, that was offensive. To some degree on a professional level, but moreso on a personal level, because its someone I’ve known for a long time, someone I trusted to want to change the world, and someone I mistakenly believed had my best interests at heart.
That experience got me thinking about professional networks. I realized I don’t really believe in such a thing.
I find it to be like those business card exchanges that are disguised as ‘networking happy hours.’ It’s a very superficial, oddly competitive environment. People identifying targets, sorting them into tiers of importance, interrupting each other in an effort to spout their talking points first. Frankly, every time I’ve experienced that, I feel like everyone has their head up their own ass. Probably why I feel dirty coming away from them.
What I do believe in, are friendships, and though any of my friends will tell you I can do a much better job at maintaining these, it’s in them that I find life rewarding. Not just in the first, close circle, but the layer around that, and the next.
There is meaning in sharing experiences. In engaging in honest conversations that sometimes lead to professional collaboration, but more often than not, just feedback and the back and forth that is human. That’s rewarding. That’s personal/professional growth.
Without the bullshit. Without your vampire squid trying to suck out my lifeblood.
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