I was excited to attend the networking session last year at the PASS Summit. Andy Warren and I had talked about it quite a bit and tried to promote it as a way to build your brand and perhaps get a better job. We were concerned that networking is a leap of faith, and you invest in it, without possibly getting a return. I think you can, and it will pay off in strange ways. It might be help with a new job. It might be someone that you help, or it might be just a feeling of comfort the next time you see someone at an event.
The networking seminar at the PASS Summit is back, with Don Gabor, and you can read more about it. I spent my own money on it last year, learned a few things, and enjoyed it. Am I using the techniques? Have they helped?
I’m not sure. I know that I think about some things I learned, like the technique for remembering people’s names, and there are times I’m at a SQL Saturday, or maybe a dinner party, and I use them. I think about touching my network a little more often, and I do look at ways to interact with people more, stopping to spend a few more minutes chatting with them, or getting contact information.
It hasn’t directly benefitted me, but I think it might at some point. I have some closer relationships in my network because I make a little more effort to touch base with them, share something or strengthen the bonds we have. On one hand it commits me slightly more at events to talk to people, but on the other, it means I have a few more friends that I can count on.