how the hell does networking work anyway?

A reader writes:

Can you explain networking? I still don’t really get it. I have many years (decades) of experience and so fortunately, I know a lot of people, and the people I know tend to know a lot of people too. I have gotten jobs in the past through people I know, but it was more a matter of someone I know knows I am looking for a job, and either recommends me to someone they know, or hires me. What I mean is that it has happened rather organically.

Now you might be saying, “Well, that’s it! That’s networking!” If that’s the case, then I am doing it. But what confuses me is the idea of being introduced to someone in my field, the friend of an acquaintance or the acquaintance of a friend or something like that, and… then what?

I have a few people who are kindly offering to “put me in touch with so and so” who is in my field or a closely related field. So say either they virtually introduce us, or I send a note explaining the connection and that my contact suggested I contact them. Then what?

You can find my answer to this question — and answers from three other career experts as well — over at the Fast Track by Intuit QuickBase today.

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