Originaly posted at http://www.kristinrunyan.com/networking/ by Kristin Runyan on 02/18/14 and is being reposted with Kristin's permission.
I had the opportunity to connect with Kristin Runyan through a mutual friend. She recently wrote a blog on Networking and how it helped her, unexpected, find her current job. Read more below:
"Have you ever worked on something only to wonder “is this worth the effort?” “Does it matter at all?” ”Does anyone care?” I know I have – and it relates in part to these blogs. In 2013, I set a goal that I was going to write 52 blogs – one per week. If you have ever tried to maintain a blog site, you know that is an ambitious goal. But I was committed so even when I would have rather been reading a book or walking the dog, I wrote blogs. And if I am honest, it did give me a sense of accomplishment when I achieved the goal.
As I worked on my 52 blogs, most were about three subjects that I am deeply passionate about: (1) Product Management, (2) Agile and (3) Leadership. I have a good amount of practical experience, I have taken awesome training classes and I have devoted time reading and studying on these subjects, so I hope that I have something useful to share.
Another thing that I committed to in 2013 was saying “yes” whenever someone asked me to present on one of the three topics mentioned above. I enjoy public speaking and I think it is a great way to learn new things and meet new people.
I know there are some people who genuinely enjoy networking, but for most of us, as my friend Danny Beyer will tell you, it is a necessary component of successfully managing your career.
Does any of it matter?
It did for me and here is my story. In December, I went to a networking breakfast with my good friends Danny Beyer and Dr. Anthony Paustain. Tony had just had a speaker cancel for the West Des Moines Leadership Academy. Would I be willing to step in on short notice? I said yes. Tony needed a favor and every networking opportunity is a good one. After the talk, a man approached me and said that some of my experiences mapped to discussions he was having with his wife and would I be willing to meet with her and share stories? I said yes. When I met her, she was a lovely woman with great skills and an interesting background. I followed up with her a couple of days after our visit and sent her the link to a blog on my site. Unbeknownst to me, she forwarded my blog to an executive at her company and unbeknownst to her, this executive has just come to the conclusion that they needed to add a new position to their exec team – but how would she find someone who was experience in and passionate about Product Management, Agile and Leadership? Wow. Then she gets my blog and the planets aligned. She reached out to me and 7 days later I had a job offer to join the company. I have now been there for 3 weeks and I absolutely love it. It is a perfect fit for my skill set and personality.
So the lesson here? It does matter. It is worth it. If you are putting yourself out there and establishing some thought leadership, stick with it. Even if it seems like no one is listening. If you don’t want to go to that networking event, put on a nice shirt and head out there. If a friend needs a favor, say yes. You never know where it might lead.
You can learn more about my new gig at www.businessolver.com."