not only at job-search time. Networking at
scientific conferences—something they do
unconsciously—leads to new opportunities for collaboration, invitations to lecture,
unsought job offers, and other good things.
Cold calls to new acquaintances move from
scary, uncomfortable things to opportunities for personal and professional growth.
At this stage they realize that the benefits achieved are not only professional—
many of their contacts have turned into life-long friends and acquaintances. For people
who make it to phase three, networking is
as essential as any other communication
skill, and it is unconsciously integrated into
the daily routine. Just like driving a car, you
reach a point where you don’t even think
about picking up the phone and calling
someone you don’t already know.
Where does a network begin?
A re-reading of Never Eat Alone reminded
me how large our initial networks—the
ones most of us start out with before we
consciously start to network—really are. I
used to talk about this in my networking
seminars, and it was refreshing to hear Mr.
Ferrazzi describe this long list of places to
start, from people in your neighborhood,
to the salespeople who sell you reagents,
to people from far away that you may only
have ‘met’ via Linked In.
It’s all a bit easier when the cold calls
you make are to what I call“Peer + 2” contacts. This term should remind you that
often the best cold calls are to people who
are just a couple of years ahead of you in
experience. They’ll be receptive to talking
about how they made the transition to
their job, and there will be some empathy
for your situation since they were in your
shoes not that long ago. Another strong
plus for Peer + 2 contacts is that they are
considerably easier to reach than the Senior VP of Research or the CEO.
Does networking have to
change your life?
Personally, I am a quiet person, still in-
clined to hang around the edges of cock-
tail gatherings after all these years of
networking. At this point of my life, I’m
not likely to become a radically outgo-
ing extrovert. But that’s okay; that’s not
what it takes to be an excellent profes-
sional networker. Even if you never es-
cape phase 2, you can still use network-
ing to your advantage.
But even if you view networking as
a means to an end (a job? professional
advancement?) instead of as an end in
itself as I have to do because of my profession, it’s important to be sincerely
interested in the people you interact
with. The single most important lesson that I’ve learned, often repeated in
Never Eat Alone, is not to sound greedy.
The best networkers don’t ask, “Are
there any openings?” within the first
few minutes of the call, and they don’t
drop you flat if you don’t have anything
to offer them immediately. Every“cold”
contact you make is more than just a
potential job interview—it’s a seed to a
future relationship. CP
Devoted to outsourcing in the Pharma and Biopharmaceutical industries, the Contracting and Outsourcing
Conference and Exhibition will be held September 14-15, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency New Brunswick, NJ,
located in the heart of New Jersey’s pharmaceutical industry. The Tabletop Exhibition will be held one day only
on Thursday, September 14th with additional conference sessions held on Friday, September 15th.
Find out more about the conference at conference.contractpharma.com