Questions: I know I should be out networking to keep myself plugged into my industry but by the end of the day I just want to go home and veg. Any advice? S.S. Raleigh, NC
Answer: No one has time to network, it’s a question of priorities. Most of us work within very lean structures and have more work than any of us can reasonably complete within a “normal” day. Responsible employees tend to prioritize the work in front of them and rationalize that doing so will ensure job security. The question is whether it truly is the “right” thing to do—for both yourself and your employer.
Interacting with others keeps your ideas fresh and your perspective broad, and it makes you a more valuable staffer. Generally the higher your industry profile, the more valuable you are seen to be by both current and future employers. But as you noted, networking requires time and effort; it can’t be delegated like most other tasks can.
Incorporate networking into your day by participating in lunchtime events or asking your employer to send you to professional development conferences as part of your responsibilities. Look closely at the tasks that are occupying your day and make sure completing them is serving your employer’s needs as well as your own.
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