Friday, January 09, 2009
Networking: Fact and Fiction
This morning I read in the Washington Post about a study that concluded that a lack of networking hinders black women.
And then I turn on Ugly Betty, where Betty blows off a networking session since it was "casual" and didn't seem all that important. This season Betty is attending Y.E.T.I. (Young Editors Training Institute), a training program for editorial assistants who want to get ahead.
Betty gets lessons in networking from snarky Mark and Amanda--they weren't exactly the best tutors, but she gets a push in the right direction. And that is something that many women of color don't get. Plus, Betty feels torn between her family and her career--something that starts long before you make it to the top.
I attended something similar-the Columbia Publishing Course-when I had a starry-eyed dream of being a book editor. We had "Sherry Hour" every night and I could hardly force myself to go. When I think now of the opportunities I missed...chitchatting with publishing royalty and classmates who would become publishing royalty...
But since I know that what's mine is mine, I cannot worry about all of that now. I did attend small group lunches and found other opportunities for networking that suited me more. And that is exactly what you have to do...but as the Washington Post article illustrates, first you need to know just how important it is that you do it.