I know the importance of business networking. Almost all the jobs I have had has been through my contacts rather than the traditional cold seek and resume applications. That does not mean I enjoy networking events. For the past ten years I have attended a whole suite of them;  AusBiotech, Women in Technology, Queensland State Government small business and technology incubation, etc, etc. But it has been over a year since I dropped out of the networking circuit and after seeing the presentation was my previous employer, I booked in for the Ausbiotech breakfast. Ignoring the fact that a breakfast event is a logistical nightmare (involved staying over my parents the night before, organising babysitters and then late for daycare and work), I really wanted to make the effort to cliché “keep my career alive.”

I wore my best dress. I collected my name badge. Entered the room. Surveyed the groups of suits and high heels. I no longer wear heels. Walked purposefully to the coffee. Poured my cup. Pretended to look busy. I hate these things. Thankfully found the speaker I was here to see to speak to her. Saved. I recognise at least a dozen regulars from my years of networking. However the approach to a group of people sipping tea and entering a conversation is not always a challenge but I get so pissed off when I think I have made the effort (especially when it is someone I have met many times before) but they just look you up and down, make small talk while scanning the room for someone more important to talk too.

Business Networking Challenge

Business Networking Challenge

Which brings me to a story of someone I met and was burnt by networking just when I was embarking on my career. To be continued…

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