Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I Suck at Networking

My worst soft skill is probably my networking ability. I am a likeable enough of a guy and I'm also sociable enough. I'm not that awkward when meeting new people, especially after a drink or two ;) But I suck at networking because I hate putting on a phony face. I understand the importance of it and understand that I don't have to be a charlatan to do it, but it just takes so much energy out of me sometimes that I'd just rather be myself (even if I am occasionally introverted and would rather go to the gym than go out). Also, it doesn't help that I get red after one drink (it's in the genes!) which makes me self-conscious since everyone thinks that signifies that I'm drunk even though I'm not even buzzed. GrRrrrRr! hehe, so most people are shocked to learn that I got 3 of my 4 jobs through networking (my initial sales position that I had for a month, my internship at Refco before its accounting scandal, and my current Booz Allen job). In fact, you could also say my Deutsche Bank job was obtained in a similar fashion since I used a headhunter/recruiter.

So today I got a call from my old project manager who quit 2 weeks ago to go to a rival firm. He said that he is going to Beijing (and I already told him that I could solicit hotel recommendations from my parents since they go there all the time). He said that he wants to get his visa really soon but needs a "sponsor"... basically someone to say that they are hosting him while he is in the country even though he wouldn't really be living there. He would actually be staying with his wife instead at the Embassy though he cannot put that info on the visa application. So! That's the nature of his requested favor. This is easy enough... I just need to get my sister to get me the phone number in Beijing and convince my mom which I should be able to do. I expect that she won't have to do anything except provide her address anyway. So the funny thing is that he left me a voicemail and was telling me how grateful he'd be and that he would "owe me big time, maybe even help get me a job at _____ (his new firm)." Then he followed that with "just kidding haha, well, actually I'm not, but anyway, I'd really appreciate it so give me a call." !!! Insane stuff huh? I'm such a bad networker but I guess I'll settle for being lucky huh? :P

I don't need the job... after all, I hate this federal tech consulting stuff. It's mind-numbing almost. But if his firm has something real estate-related (which it doesn't) then I'd take that! Plus, I wouldn't be able to leave before getting accepted by Columbia (cross your fingers) anyway since I don't want to alter my story. But I WILL use him for a backup recommendation in case my current project manager isn't down. That'll be enough for me :)

Hmm, what else... oh yes, I am tremendously encouraged when I get hits on my blog. Makes me want to write more. Curious where the hits come from though. I know it's not from BusinessWeek any more so it's probably all from that Hella site. But the crazy thing is I get a lot of hits the day after I post... but how do people know that I've just updated my site?!

In other news, work is surprisingly busy now that I am the lead of Management & Operations. I am trying to train the junior consultant too. Almost no time to goof off nowadays while at work hehe. Also, I'll be getting my PMP certification (Project Management Professional) on June 27th by taking some stupid week-long course and then an exam. Should be easy stuff if my co-workers can do it haha.

And in happy news, good ole high school friend is having a wedding in 2 weeks in South Bend, Indiana. I like weddings but don't get to go to many. In fact, he's my first good friend to get married. I'll be in Chicago for one day prior too, just to check out the city a lil (no Chicago GSB for me though). Looking forward to it.

1 comment:

JulyDream said...

I often feel people focus too much on the actual act of networking and miss the whole point. It's about connection. I don't intentionally network, however, I've been told I'm great at it. I simply am genuinely interested in what people are about. I go out of my way to make people feel good and when I network, I try to find common ground. You won't get along with everyone, but as long as you can connect with a good few, you're doing alright. Not everyone needs to be an extrovert!

As for your hits... it is likely from Hella's site. It's amazing how many periodical readers there are. :) It's a great community for the active and silent together.