I know that it is taught that networking is important. It is. Most of the time, a degree is not the only thing that is going to help you move forward in life. And even if you don’t have a degree, but have created another kind of career, you won’t get far if you don’t network. You need to meet different kinds of people that will help you along the way. Nobody does it completely alone. As humans, we help each other move forward. However, it is important that you do not use people. We shouldn’t treat people as if they are robots. Even the people that you are networking with are human.
It is important to be clear. If you only want to network, then you have to make it obvious and let them know. Do not act like you want to be a friend to someone if you truly have one goal in mind: to network. If you’re going to networking events and trying to network, that is great. However, if you meet people and pretend to be their friend when you’re really only trying to network, that isn’t genuine and people will eventually catch on.
Overall, there is nothing wrong with wanting to explore ideas, create something, or talk about a business venture with a friend. The fruits of that are beautiful. However, if you are trying to act like you are friends with someone, when your sole purpose is to get to a point in life, then that isn’t the right way of going about it. Be vocal. Be honest. Treat the other person how you would want to be treated. If you want to create together or network after you’re friends, then just say something. Be intentional. Always communicate and don’t forget about human connection. People are not meant to be used.
Here are 4 Questions To Ask Yourself To See If You Are Confusing Friendship And Networking
1. Are you being genuine?
If you catch yourself not being genuine, it is often a sign that you are not looking for a friendship. Be genuine. People who are in tune with themselves can definitely tell when you’re not being genuine. Don’t think that you can outsmart people. These people who you are trying to outsmart are most likely used to this already and will notice. You don’t want that kind of reputation.
2. What are your intentions?
Intentions are sometimes even more important than the outcome. You have to stop and think about what your intentions are with this particular individual. This will give you many answers that will help you decipher whether or not you are looking for a friendship or whether you have another motive.
3. What kind of relationship are you looking to develop with this person?
You need to ask yourself about the kind of relationship that you want to develop with this person. Can you see this person in your life in the long run or do you just see it ending once you have reached a particular destination? The answers to these questions are all important.
4. Are you looking to gain something?
A friendship isn’t necessarily about gaining something. If you find yourself trying to be friends with a person because they have something to potentially offer you, other than mutual respect and love, then you are most likely just looking for a networking opportunity.