Why is Networking perceived so badly?
This story starts 9 years back in time
My team and I were going to the cafeteria for lunch and on the way everybody who saw us would say hi to me
This was not a one day thing but a every day occurrence
So they pulled my leg saying its like walking with a celebrity
One fine day with all due respect my lead finally told me
“Shruti I have been here for 8 years of my life and yet everyone knows you”
I being modest and embarrassed said
“I’m a fresher here, so everyone knows me as we had 6 months training and 200 fellows in each class”
I thought the story would end there but No :)
This was happening with me in every company
for 9 years .. yes 9 years 5 companies consistently.
To the extent that on Family day at JP
One of my HRs told my parents,
“ Maybe all the folks in this office might not know who Jamie Dimon is but everyone knows Shruti Pandey”……
She is exceptional and blah blah blah as she went on and on, I was just stuck on her previous remark and it felt like school all over again where a teacher was praising me that too infront of my parents
Just remembering that day still gives me goosebumps
While I’m till now just sharing good experience stories, there are more instances of people thinking this is called networking and perceive it very badly
There are alot of flip side to all the above, humans get jealous, egos get shattered just by my presence, gender biasness, insecure folks and it makes my life hellish difficult
Some of my teammates would get envious, why does she talk to everyone on the floor or vice versa
And called this networking too
I would feel embarrassed to the point of feeling like character assassination but I always knew that I’m not doing anything wrong
I was always taught that if you do good or great work that is what you will be remembered and known for.
Let your work do the talking, that’s what I did.
Also,in all the 5 companies, I talked to the cleaning, cafeteria, guards and every staff obviously including the IT folks that worked there because I don’t see the designation of people before talking to them or even helping them. I probably was raised like this and I’m so proud of it or probably I don’t come from a family of office-goers to know how the cookie crumbles
I’m probably not a people’s person but a fool to be a people’s person
And If this is networking to you, so be it :)