Professional Women And Networking
The spider weaves a fine and tenacious network of delicate filament that can withstand the vagaries of nature. And then it waits quietly for an insect to fly into it. Some would term it as a wily trap to feed on other living things, while there are others who will learn a lesson from this beautiful design and understand the importance of creating a network of threads that will keep them secure. In professional networking, these threads are the bonds that we forge to provide a safety net of contacts to fall back upon, for resourcefulness.
Most women head home after work hours to take on the second shift with the family and the responsibilities that come with it. So, when and how do they ‘catch up’ to stay relevant beyond the office hours?
But first of all, do they consider ‘networking’ a legitimate activity in the professional world?
For Delhi-based Radhika, a young professional classical dancer, networking helps after a certain level of expertise. “If my art form is not up to the mark, then no amount of networking is ever going to bring me invitations to perform.”
She believes in networking to expand her group of contacts, but by no means to aggressively market herself.
Udita, an HR-professional, makes it a point to participate voluntarily in the events hosted by the start-up she is employed with, instead of being delegated to do so. To her, these activities are a rich minefield to get acquainted and network with potential contacts of the industry.
She thinks that men usually talk shop in the informal ambience over beer or a smoke, among other things. Many women stay away for personal reasons and also because men are not very comfortable having women around during such ‘bonding’. So the next best bet according to Udita is to have all women’s activities or simply drop in at relevant organized events.
Shanti Doley, an entrepreneur in the tourism sector, has recently joined FLO, to stay connected with other professionals and entrepreneurs through some socially relevant projects as well as the fun events organized for the ladies.
“There is a relationship formed when we come together to chalk out, delegate and work on a project that brings like-minded women together. We connect at a level that is beyond our individual professions which, I think, helps give it legitimacy”.
There are many online social and professional networking sites that have helped women receive support, connect and understand the new frontiers being explored in the professional world. While SHEROES helps women get back to work after a break within a space they are comfortable with, Siliconindia is one of the largest networking communities.
With a little imagination, smaller social groups--such as the parents’ groups in your child’s school--can be leveraged to build a network. While we are at it, I might as well mention the kitty parties that have been known to create bonds that have helped many agents of multi-level-marketing (MLM) companies like Amway, Herbalife and their ilk to rise in the levels and enjoy the perks.
Networking is the buzzword with so many talents available in the market. After all, the spider would have been long extinct if it hadn’t been for its silky web.
image not our own