I will never understand people who feel lonely when they’re alone.
I crave it. I love it. I seek it out.
And it’s getting me in trouble at work.
Because I’m supposed to “network” and “extend my circle of influence”.
Couldn’t I just be buried in the sand up to my neck, have my head coated with honey, and have a bunch of fire ants released on me instead?
Not to be negative, but it’s pretty much how I feel about the whole “networking” thing. I dread it. And it’s probably the main thing that’s held me back in my career.
‘Cause I’m great when presenting.
And I’m great 1-to-1.
But networking at those social events where everyone mills around, chatting and sizing each other up, without any discernable unified goals? No thanks.
Of course, that’s how you get “out there” and get seen.
And it’s how I get missed.
A few months back, I had drained my energy well from two consecutive weekends of highly social activity. And I couldn’t attend the professional networking event that I really, really needed to attend.
Couldn’t do it. Just couldn’t.
And so, I probably missed a good chance to learn more about career options, find out about emerging areas to move towards — find out where I need more training, etc.
But there was no way. Just no way.
It’s not the end of the world, I suppose, but it’s yet another reminder of how it would be really useful to have a little bit more energy… and be able to follow up on things that mean something to me — and that I need.
But it doesn’t always happen.
So, here I am. Trying to figure out a way that I can reshape my career, so I’m not blocked by these ridiculous requirements to “reach out” and become more influential with strangers.
Ultimately, many strangers are friends & colleagues I haven’t yet met, but I just dread the idea of going through the process of getting out of the stranger stage.
I just do.
Too bad, though. Gotta adapt. Time to find someone to go influence…