Networking – Even a Caveman can do it!
An attitude I’ve come across frequently, when discussing the importance of networking with lawyers, is that of, “No way! No networking! Anything but that!” Funnily enough, what got me thinking about it again was a client confessing that it wasn’t as bad as he’d thought it would be. He’d just spent two months networking rather fiercely for a job.
So, why did his attitude change? Well, it’s simple: he realized the difference between common perceptions of networking and what it is once he did it.
We, as lawyers, often feel that networking just isn’t something we can be comfortable with. In fact, networking conjures up images of having to call up strangers as though we were telemarketers or, worse yet, of wrangling conversations around to a point where we can start handing out our business cards.
Think about it though. What if that isn’t what networking is about? What if you just grab a cup of coffee with someone you already know and get to know them better over it? What if you have lunch with someone you met recently and both of you leave the table with a better idea of how you could help each other out in the future?
I mean, we can do coffee, right? In all my time, I’ve rarely met someone without any social skills. We can manage a pleasant conversation for two to five minutes – and that’s all it takes. You don’t have to be the life and soul of the party; you don’t even have to be an extrovert. You can do networking regardless.
So, what do you need for networking? That’s easy – you need fortitude and grit. Don’t walk away from it just because you didn’t get results in the first five minutes or hours or days. Stick around and you’ll eventually see the clients or jobs you want come rolling in.