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Friday, August 03, 2007

Importance of Networking while you don't need it

Days before moving out of Infosys, I suddenly realized how many people I would not be seeing on a day to day basis, in a few weeks time, might not remember their faces, and in a few months time, might not remember their names. After moving to HK, say I got a very good opportunity there and I liked the place a lot, I might not even come back to India for a few more years;

That would effectively meaning losing so many friends (or at least acquaintances who've helped me or who I've helped professionally). So at least to ensure that I don't forget their names, made a list of people I'd interacted with and sent them my contact information and a farewell mail. Didn't want to end up spamming them with Networking requests, etc. But put in a LinkedIn link to my profile, in case I could help them some point in the future. Now the initiative is with the people I mailed to keep in touch.

Coming back to the topic on hand. Trying to build networks is really important and the tools available on the Net like LinkedIn, etc help establish the network and grow it. But how far do you go with it. Do you send it to everyone you know and don't know to help grow your network or just restrict it to the people you know really well and have actually worked with in your professional life. I've decided to take the latter option since I don't think I myself will help (by say recommending) someone I do not know personally or haven't worked with personally. I've seen people with over 5000+ contacts; And is it any surprise that I too am one of his contacts and I don't know a thing about him.

Just used the vast amount of free time on hand to try and expand my network by including people in my contact list. This exercise taught me something new about gmail. Gmail adds people addressed to in mails sent to you to your contact list automatically. e.g. If you send a mail to me along with five of your friends, all five get added to my contact list. This resulted in some invites going out to people I did not know. Luckily for me, they did not accept the invite before I could withdraw it. So my network is mostly people I know and have worked with or studied with .. except of course the 3-4 3000+ contacts people in the list!!!

Chinese Phrase for the Day: ho gohing yingsik nei ** Nice to Meet you **

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