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The former Google executive, editorial director of Twitter and self-described introvert offers networking advice for anyone who has ever cancelled a coffee date due to social anxiety—about how to nurture a vibrant circle of reliable contacts without leaving your comfort zone.

Networking has garnered a reputation as a sort of necessary evil in the modern business world. Some do relish the opportunity to boldly work the room, introduce themselves to strangers, and find common career ground—but for many others, the experience is often awkward, or even terrifying.

The common networking advice for introverts are variations on the theme of overcoming or “fixing” their quiet tendencies. But Karen Wickre is a self-described introvert who has worked in Silicon Valley for 30 years. She shows you to embrace your true nature to create sustainable connections that can be called upon for you to get—and give—career assistance, advice, introductions, and lasting connections.

Karen’s “embrace your quiet side” approach is for anyone who finds themselves shying away from traditional networking activities, or for those who would rather be curled up with a good book on a Friday night than out at a party. For example, if you’re anxious about that big professional mixer full of people you don’t know, she advises you to consider skipping it (many of these are not productive), and instead set up an intimate, one-on-one coffee date. She shows how to truly make the most out of social media to sustain what she calls “the loose touch habit” to build your own brain trust to last a lifetime.

With compelling arguments and creative strategies, this new way to network is perfect not only for introverts, but for anyone who wants for a less conventional approach to get ahead in today’s job market.

Review

Karen Wickre may be the best-connected Silicon Valley figure you’ve never heard of, widely regarded in tech as a champion networker. Now she reveals in highly readable, practical terms how anyone can create and sustain a network painlessly, and why it matters. This book can change your career, and your life.— Walt Mossberg, former columnist and conference producer for the Wall Street Journal, AllThingsDigital, and Recode

“Karen Wickre has taken a lifetime of learning and put it into a practical, easy-to-use book that people of all stripes and backgrounds will find useful. (And by the way: it’s not only for introverts!)—Sree Sreenivasan, former Chief Digital Officer of New York City, Columbia University, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art

“Listen to Karen Wickre. Taking the Work Out of Networking will make you a better questioner, observer, relationship-nurturer, and, yes—a networker for all the right reasons. Blair Shane, Chief Marketing Officer, Sequoia Capital

“If you believe relationships are the bedrock of both adventure and achievement, then you must read this book. Step by step, concept by concept, Karen shares her wisdom on how to build a community of relationships that help you change the world .” —Keith Yamashita, founder and chairman, SYPartners

“Most of us dread the awkward phone calls to strangers and the transactional nature of what we think of as ''networking.'' Karen Wickre recasts the notion completely—and extremely usefully—in terms of connections, friendships and reciprocity. A very user-friendly tool for those of us introverts masquerading as extroverts.—Amanda Bennett, journalist and author 

“So many of us dislike or even fear the transactional nature of traditional networking. Karen Wickre has done a great service by showing how it’s possible to make genuine connections that last, that we can nurture across the world for all kinds of purposes.”— Chris Anderson, Head of TED and author of TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking

“In a world of social media, a meaningful conversation is a memorable thing. Karen Wickre reminds us that the ability to put your phone in your pocket, look a person in the eye, and really connect is not only one of life''s great pleasures—it is the key to succeeding in your career.”— Kim Scott, author of Radical Candor

“Pragmatic and thoughtful, Karen Wickre shows how networking can move from being transactional to being transformational in your life. Taking the Work Out of Networking gives you the  know-how to connect with the  know-who. This is one of the best ‘read it in the morning, use it in the afternoon’ career guides I’ve ever read, especially in our social media era.”— Chip Conley, author of Wisdom @ Work: The Making of a Modern Elder

“Karen Wickre has long been an powerful but unsung resource for tech industry insiders seeking career advice.  In this charming book,  she shares the powerful secrets that will allow introverts--and everyone else--to organically network in the workplace, for better jobs and a more satisfying work life.” — Steven Levy, author of In the Plex

Taking the Work Out of Networking is a networking game-changer. Karen Wickre reveals how anyone—even the introverts dreading their social obligations—can make strides in their career by building meaningful connections in a thoughtful, diligent way.”— Olivia Fox Cabane, author of The Charisma Myth

“People will always be moving and changing jobs, but the value of human connection doesn''t change. Karen Wickre shows how ''loose touch'' interactions can make your life better. If you''re an introvert, you will find help making connections in ways that don''t feel forced or artificial. If you know an introvert, this book makes a good gift.” Matt Cutts, former Googler

For introverts who panic at the idea of networking, Wickre''s book is a deep, calming breath. You can do it."— Sophia Dembling, author of The Introvert''s Way and Introverts in Love

"Networking is essential for business success, yet many still dread it. Prepare to change your mind. Karen Wickre''s inspired new book shows readers how to embrace their true selves while building an authentic, sustainable network." —Dorie Clark, adjunct professor at Duke University''s Fuqua School of Business and author of  Stand Out Networking and Reinventing You

"Practical, delightful read... Full of insights and helpful tips, especially regarding social media, this is the perfect book for anyone in the midst of a career transition or considering one."
—Ted.com, “TED’s winter reading list" 

About the Author

Silicon Valley veteran Karen Wickre is the former Editorial Director at Twitter, where she landed after a decade-long career at Google. An advisor to startups and a lifelong information seeker, she is a member of the Board of Visitors for the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University, and serves on the boards of the International Center for Journalists, the News Literacy Project, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She has been a featured columnist for Wired.com and is a cofounder of Newsgeist, an annual conference fostering new approaches to news and information. She is the author of Taking the Work Out of Networking and lives in San Francisco.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Taking the Work Out of Networking

Foreword


by Roy Bahat, Bloomberg Beta

When you think “tech company,” images of computer networks or server rooms might pop into your head. Your first thought wouldn’t be about human beings supporting each other, chatting over coffee, or making new friends. Yet one of the biggest open secrets in Silicon Valley is that the tech industry runs on personal networks more than it does on computer networks.

Whether or not you work in tech, this tends to be true. Many of us struggle with the same questions about the people in our professional lives: How do you choose who to work with when you barely know a person? How do you know who to trust? How do you nurture something real when your “friends” number in the thousands?

Our relationships matter. They are more than just runways we light up to land a new job, or close a sale. Relationships are what make us human, in a world where machines often outdo us. So: what could be better than becoming more expert in how to connect with one another?

More than any other industry I’ve seen—and I’ve worked in government, for nonprofits, at a Fortune 500 corporation, in universities, plus cofounding a little company, and now as a startup investor—Silicon Valley knows how to answer these people questions. After a meeting at our venture capital fund, a visitor quipped, “For folks who invest in technology, you sure do talk a lot about people.”

The author of the book you’re now holding—a seasoned veteran of the tech industry—is therefore the perfect person to tell you how to build and keep your personal network. Based on her years at startups, big corporations, and long stints at both Google and Twitter, Karen Wickre has become an artisan of the Silicon Valley–style relationship building.

Karen’s keen eye for the tradecraft of building a relationship makes her, like me, a student of the details of how we meet one another, what we have in common. The venture capital fund I lead focuses on investing in the future of work; we obsess over these nuances. What’s the right subject line for an introduction email? (Pro tip: A one-word subject line like “Intro” will get lost in everyone else’s inbox.) When should you text someone versus sending them a DM? What’s the right order for several names in a calendar invitation?

As Karen will tell you, the tech world is famously fluid. There’s no harm and no foul in moving often between companies or roles. Because technologies themselves evolve so quickly, and because tech loves a good reinvention (and, yes, “disruption”), this constant motion makes people in tech rely on our connections—a network of allies, colleagues, and friends—more often and more deeply than we rely on our (current) employer.

This Silicon Valley way of building relationships is about giving: It’s about starting with what the other person needs, instead of what you want from them. It’s about planting seeds and getting to watch them bloom and outgrow you.

And networking in this way just feels more natural than pressing your business card into someone’s hands at a conference. It feels less slimy, less transactional, than the way most of us think of “networking.” It’s the opposite of the smile-and-look-over-your-shoulder move you see at party after party.

Karen’s book encapsulates this networking-by-nurturing approach, and offers nugget after nugget on how to make it your own. In this paperback edition, Karen also helps us navigate life inside a company. She reminds us that—as companies get bigger and the tidy org chart’s boxes and lines blur—we should be just as giving to our colleagues as we are to customer prospect or “contacts.”

Even if you’re obligated to go to a crowded work to-do, Karen can show you how to survive trauma-free. She turns being the quiet person at the party into an engine for earnest empathy. Or relishing the fact that social media works beautifully for people who would rather avoid chitchat. (On the internet, nobody knows you’re an introvert.) And I respect how candid she is about her age and the accumulated value of being in this game for many years.

Karen also understands that if we’re going to honor our relationships, we need to take care in how we relate to people outside of our insular communities. We can either fall into the addictive traps that many social networks—including some where Karen has worked!—set for us, or we can fashion our own way of doing things. We can choose to start by giving, limiting our exposure to the less generous, and getting “curious before furious.”

Read this book to see that forging connections isn’t about you “getting out there,” or forcing yourself to eat a meal with a stranger when you’d rather have time to think, or breaking your phobia of starting a conversation. It’s about us: about seeing the best in each other and showing each other that we notice.

When Karen asked me to write a few words for the book you’re holding now, I was unsure which of us was doing which the favor. Was she giving to me, or me to her? And then I remembered, as Karen herself points out, favors can be mutual.

At the risk of making your eyes roll, this is a book about networking. And even so, you’ll see the best of how to be human at work on every page. Nothing in our evolutionary programming—rooted in small tribes, knowing a few people deeply—has prepared us for the modern way we connect with each other. Silicon Valley has figured this secret out. This book shares that secret with you.

Roy Bahat

San Francisco



Taking the Work Out of Networking

— 1 —

Unleashing the Introvert’s Secret Power


The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamplit desk.

—Susan Cain

The notion of networking as needing to be “on”—to shake every hand and capture every soul (for a minute, anyway)—is something we tend to think extroverts do well, and introverts—not so much. But when it comes to making connections, introverts may have the upper hand. You don’t have to change who you are or concoct a phony-feeling persona to meet people easily.

Let’s take a moment to review what “introvert” really means. In the 1920s, Swiss psychologist Carl Jung developed his theory of psychological types, noting that “Each person seems to be energized more by either the external world (extraversion) or the internal world (introversion).” Much more recently, the Urban Dictionary built on that idea: “Contrary to popular belief, not all introverts are shy. Some may have great social lives and love talking to their friends but just need some time to be alone to ‘recharge’ afterwards.”

That part about recharging is key. As Jung observed, extroverts typically gain energy from being in a crowd—a party, a game, concert, hopping from one gathering to another. Those of us at the other end of the spectrum need quiet time to regroup, think, plan, and dream. I’m not alone, I’m sure, in mentally calculating how long it will be till I can get away from the crowd. No matter how lovely a time I’m having at a group event, I always look forward to being back home.

Another mark of the introvert is the ability to be comfortable being quiet, which is often misunderstood. As a thoughtful and introspective teenager, my goal was to observe and eavesdrop on adult conversations. When my parents had guests over, I was intrigued by the sotto voce remarks they would make later, speculating about the (unspoken) troubles they knew their friends were having. Nothing had been uttered at the table, of course, which led me to understand that human experiences run much deeper than polite company revealed. I began to feel like an anthropologist—the outsider studying the group with a cool eye, never fully joining in.

I’m convinced that all of these qualities, which introverts seem to share—feeling like an outsider, being an observer, curiosity about the stories and situations of others—inform how I’ve made my way through life. (As one scholarly study put it, “An introvert who is silent in a group may actually be quite engaged—taking in what is said, thinking about it, waiting for a turn to speak.”) I think this ability to observe and assess are some of my best assets, and maybe they’re yours, too. Whether you’re shy, humble, self-effacing, insecure, or simply hate the stereotype of networking, I want to encourage you to make the most of your own personal style in order to build your own brain trust—to start from where you are.

My long-held theory is that introverts (and other unassuming people) are well suited to building a strong web of connections because of some distinctive characteristics we share, such as these:

• We’re good at listening. When I meet someone for the first time, I make a game out of getting them to talk first—to give up more personal information than I give. That may sound cold, but it gives me time to size them up, to assess my ability to trust them. If I get a good feeling, then I’ll open up (a little). This is a key tactic: ask questions first. You learn to sort out how much you want to invest in another person when they’re talking to (or at) you. It’s much more important to use your listening skills than to jump in to talk. And once you’ve listened, you will have options about where or how far to go in what you say.

• We’re keen observers. Even though feeling like an outsider might seem isolating, the fact that you don’t take up all the social space (as some of our extrovert friends can do) lets others reveal who they are as you take it all in. I have a lifelong habit of observing people—what can I deduce about them from a personal meeting or from sitting across from them on the subway? Who seems excitable, self-assured, angry, depressed—and why? When I meet someone, I tend to remember a few distinctive things about them—their interests, hometown, personal style, alma mater—that help me approach people right where they are. And this skill is so beneficial to connecting with someone else. You put yourself into the mind-set of another, which puts them at ease and helps you forge a meaningful encounter.

• We’re curious. When you feel like an outsider, you assume others have mastered life—connecting with people, navigating choices, pursuing a path—in ways you have not. Keen observers tend to put those observations to work. As a quiet kid, I was always curious about how other people navigated the world, and especially how they seemed to fit in, where I didn’t feel like I did. (A blessing, of sorts, about adulthood: you learn that very few people actually feel like they fit right.)

These abilities—listening, observing, being curious—are wonderful tools for connecting with people. And here’s the thing: none of them requires you to be in the limelight. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a successful career, of course.

For more than twenty years, Judy Wert has led her own executive recruiting firm in New York for companies in search of creative leadership. If you think a search consultant must be super-outgoing to succeed, meet Judy, who considers herself an introvert. She thinks of herself as a kind of “gentle provocateur” who plays a long game, professionally, out of necessity. Headhunters and recruiters must always meet new people to keep in mind for future client needs. She’s intentionally kept her firm small to employ a high-touch approach driven by her relationships across her global network.

A visual designer, Judy morphed her design tools into a new “medium of people,” which has made Wert&Co. “the story of people and conversations.” She has tracked these ongoing conversations through her proprietary custom-designed database—built long before LinkedIn or Salesforce—which is a repository for the thousands of people she’s met. It’s not unusual for her to follow up years later about an opportunity with an individual she met only once.

When I think of Judy, I think of someone whose work revolves around the qualities I’ve mentioned here: curiosity, observation, listening. She describes her process of matching people to positions as one of “strategic intuition”—a sensibility that captures the kind of calibration, internal and external, that introverts know very well. I admit to some bias here: I think introverts are more attuned to the steady thrum of needs, desires, secrets, and worries most people experience. That awareness informs our understanding of others, for the better.

It’s this notion that helps us think more roundly (and smartly) about who would be the right one for an open position, and more broadly, the right person to critique your resume; to be the executor of your will; the right friend with whom to enjoy the latest action movie or dive bar; the best brainstormer to develop your food truck idea—and a thousand other things. You already have a sense of who’d you want for some of these things, through the recommendations of friends or previous experiences. The same skill works when you apply it to a wider array of contacts that can help you with many of the choices there are to make throughout your career, and indeed throughout life.

The combination of introversion and observation provides a great gift: the art of sizing people up. We can sense the makeup of someone pretty quickly: are they needy, clueless, boastful, nervous? Do they evoke equilibrium, curiosity, good humor? Sensing such qualities means that you have a good grip on what to ask or expect of anyone you meet—and that’s a handy skill as you continue to build your network.

TRY IT OUT: Exercise Your Introvert Powers

Here are three exercises to warm you up to the idea of using your abilities to help grow your web of connections. Give them a try! I think you’ll find that people will feel good as a result of your effort, and you’ll learn things you can draw on later with them or others.

Ask questions first.


Next time you’re having coffee with someone you don’t know well (or at all—a coworker, friend of friend, fellow conference-goer), prompt them to tell you their story first. This works well by phone, too.

Your opening line can be as simple as:

“We’ll get to me, but first I would love to hear how you [like working at company X] or [have made your mark in X field or specialty or accomplishment]. ”

or

“I’m still thinking about that conference/speaker. What has stayed with you from that talk?”

Especially if you are trying to find work in their company or industry, follow that with an invitation that’s a question:

“How did you get into company X?”

“How long have you held job Y?”

“Do you enjoy profession Z?”

Put your curiosity to work.


Curiosity is a mental skill, something you activate whether or not you’re meeting in person. When you are having an informational meeting (including by phone or video chat) with someone from the company or field you’re interested in, do your homework to make the best use of their time and yours by jumping right to the heart of what you’re there to do. After initial pleasantries, for example, tailor your opening gambit to the kind of topic you’re pursuing:

“What I want to know is, how did you get the cat out of the chimney?!” (Referencing what you saw on their Instagram feed; an icebreaker that shows you’re paying attention to what they’re about.)

“What was it like to be at Google in the early years?” (You learned this from LinkedIn.)

“Do you enjoy writing regularly?” (You read their site, newsletter, or blog.)

Be a keen observer.


Where curiosity is largely mental, observation is more physical. It works best in person and has great value when you’re meeting someone new. Part of being a keen observer is how well you can put your new contact at ease (more often than guaranteeing a solid connection), and part of it is gathering your own sense of him or her.

Some ways to work observation into the conversation:

“Your glasses are so great—do you collect them?” (Clothing can be too personal to call out at a first meeting, but glasses or shoes are fairer to compliment.)

“How do you like your phone cover/battery/notepad/pen?” (Which accessories they keep nearby tells you a bit about them.)

Some things to consider during your conversation:

Are they ill at ease and fidgety, or do they seem relaxed and comfortable?

Are they strictly business, or do they reveal a bit about themselves, their preferences, or quirks?

Your observational powers are also very helpful in group meetings:

Ever notice the one person who is always the naysayer, or the interrupter?

The “meeting after the meeting” person who can only debrief later?

Who always has time for a friendly personal word, and who doesn’t?

What you observe gives you an extra sense of understanding of others, and that can make your connections work more smoothly—simply based on who they show you they are.

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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 54.2 out of 5
113 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Maggie Sinclair
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Bad Advice
Reviewed in the United States on July 15, 2019
The sample for this book was inspiring so I went ahead and bought it...and then the book started going downhill. She suggests that when you meet someone networking that you start with a self-deprecating joke. While those sorts of jokes are fine in social situations, it’s... See more
The sample for this book was inspiring so I went ahead and bought it...and then the book started going downhill. She suggests that when you meet someone networking that you start with a self-deprecating joke. While those sorts of jokes are fine in social situations, it’s fatal in networking when you only have seconds to make a first impression. Why would someone want to do business with a person who immediately puts themselves down?

Anyway, I tried to return this book but it’s past the time limit so I’m writing this to save money and time for other networkers.
17 people found this helpful
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Daniel L
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Practical, spirited and well-written
Reviewed in the United States on November 27, 2018
This book is written as much for introverts as for those who know introverts. Karen does a fantastic job distilling practical job and networking advice into a potion that introverts can use to make them a career superpower. I''ve had the privilege to know Karen... See more
This book is written as much for introverts as for those who know introverts. Karen does a fantastic job distilling practical job and networking advice into a potion that introverts can use to make them a career superpower. I''ve had the privilege to know Karen professionally and personally for 15 years. Her writing style here is crisp and focused, much like her advice in real life. Great read to wrap up the year and give yourself the motivation to jump into the new year with a renewed sense of networking energy. Read it now, in time for a challenging networking scene: holiday parties.
11 people found this helpful
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Chris Gaither
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A helpful guide for building professional relationships
Reviewed in the United States on December 11, 2018
If the mere idea of business networking makes you want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over your head, this is a terrific book for you. I worked with Karen Wickre at Google, and she is one of the most well-connected people I know. Her new book shares her secrets to... See more
If the mere idea of business networking makes you want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over your head, this is a terrific book for you. I worked with Karen Wickre at Google, and she is one of the most well-connected people I know. Her new book shares her secrets to building your own network -- even if, or especially if, you''re an introvert. Key to her approach are curiosity, generosity, and a devoted practice of staying in contact with your broader circle through "loose-touch habits." She offers tips for building relationships over coffee, email, and social media; managing small-talk; leveraging your network to help others; and using that same network to help yourself (with grace and gratitude). As a social introvert myself, I''ll return to this book often when I need a good pep talk and plan for getting out into the world.
7 people found this helpful
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John Pinette
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Super Helpful - Practical - Easy Read - Already Paying Off
Reviewed in the United States on December 12, 2018
This is a terrific reminder of things you already know ("stay in touch") and smart and efficient strategies to do what you know you ought. It''s never preachy, and is punctuated with great stories and examples. I had a long flight the other day and by the end of... See more
This is a terrific reminder of things you already know ("stay in touch") and smart and efficient strategies to do what you know you ought.

It''s never preachy, and is punctuated with great stories and examples. I had a long flight the other day and by the end of the flight I had done more to keep my network up and going (and growing) than I''d done in a very long time. It was a good example, a nudge, and some great advice, wrapped up in an easily consumed volume.

That ''airplane work'' is already paying off for me my finding some expert advice for two different projects. Totally worth the small investment of $$ and time.
3 people found this helpful
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Josh M.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Essential, Highly Digestible, and Witty Networking Advice
Reviewed in the United States on December 3, 2018
I''ve been a big fan of Karen''s for a long time. She has shepherded many a Silicon Valley CEO and their management teams through some of the best of the booms and busts over the last decades. This book is useful for anyone seeking practical advice on building business... See more
I''ve been a big fan of Karen''s for a long time. She has shepherded many a Silicon Valley CEO and their management teams through some of the best of the booms and busts over the last decades. This book is useful for anyone seeking practical advice on building business relationships. It''s not just for introverts, and certainly not just for those building and running companies. By dissecting skills into accessible anecdotes and providing clear examples, Karen makes the core lessons easily applicable to the reader and yet highly tangible. It''s an easy read, a fun read, you forget you''re there to sit at Karen''s lap and digest some of her wisdom. We bought several copies to circulate around our office and they''ve already been passed around several times.
2 people found this helpful
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Learned Extrovert
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Everything you know about networking is wrong.* Karen will show you the way
Reviewed in the United States on November 30, 2019
Networking is: 1. giving out your business cards willy nilly at a live event. 2. trying to accumulate the most LinkedIn contacts 3. something you do only when you''re looking for a job. 4. A distasteful process. 5. something only extroverts can do well. NONE of the... See more
Networking is: 1. giving out your business cards willy nilly at a live event. 2. trying to accumulate the most LinkedIn contacts 3. something you do only when you''re looking for a job. 4. A distasteful process. 5. something only extroverts can do well. NONE of the preceding five assertions are true. Wickre describes a gentle, more effective and continuous way to build your network. Some of the members of whom are close to you, but far more have "loose ties," meaning people are not close to you but may be in the position to help in the future. Wickre describes a regular practice of meeting people (in person as much as possible), sending them articles and tweets, or suggesting people your weak ties need to meet, not just in a job context. The principle of preemptive generosity (a.k.a.paying it forward, but in advance) is at play, where you do favors for people in your network in advance of asking anything back. And it''s fun to hear people''s stories. You''re building up karma, or at least goodwill. When you do need something, someone in your network is likely to help. This continuous process requires care and feeding, and a certain amount of time. (not a lot necessarily) This continuous back and forth and building both strong and weak ties, is real networking. The book shows how all of this is more difficult for introverts, but also how they have amazing strengths in getting to know and sizing up people, among other gifts. Even though this book is written for introverts EVERYTHING can be used by extroverts too. I encourage all people who want to improve their professional relationships and the network that springs out of them to buy and share this book with their friends and colleagues.
*ok, maybe not everything.
2 people found this helpful
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Teressa I
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A useful, engaging guide to connecting with people and building a network
Reviewed in the United States on August 16, 2019
Shy introvert, introvert pretending to be an extrovert, extrovert, some other vert nobody’s defined yet, new to the job world, way down the career path, in the midst of an employment transition... It’s hard to imagine anyone who wouldn’t benefit from reading this. Wickre’s... See more
Shy introvert, introvert pretending to be an extrovert, extrovert, some other vert nobody’s defined yet, new to the job world, way down the career path, in the midst of an employment transition... It’s hard to imagine anyone who wouldn’t benefit from reading this. Wickre’s book is full of useful, specific info and advice, but it also prompts a complete reassessment of what “networking” means in your life. It’s a practical guide to developing a lifelong habit of establishing and, importantly, maintaining connections based on generosity and thoughtfulness. These connections form the basis of a network that can support you in ways you may have never imagined when you met or reconnected with that “contact.” The only disappointing thing is the limit of our understanding of space-time which prevents me from traveling back and reading this book when I was starting my career.
One person found this helpful
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J. Martin
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An informative, enlightening, and potentially transformational book
Reviewed in the United States on May 8, 2019
The theme/message that comes through in this must-read book is that successful networking springs from, first and foremost, gestures of generosity, a desire to help others by sharing with them information, ideas, recommendations and introductions to other people, even in... See more
The theme/message that comes through in this must-read book is that successful networking springs from, first and foremost, gestures of generosity, a desire to help others by sharing with them information, ideas, recommendations and introductions to other people, even in some cases without their having to ask. That, and being comfortable enough to ask for help yourself when you need it, which may or may not come naturally to you. Such interactions elevate ‘networking’ into ‘connecting,’ which has all sorts of benefits for everyone involved.

For me, this is a refreshing and valuable way to rethink the old networking concept, which too often is equated with going to functions you don’t want to attend and forcing yourself into extrovert mode, introducing and then explaining yourself to strangers.

Wickre’s warm, engaging, comfortable writing style makes it feel as if you’re hanging out with a smart, long-time friend over coffee. All told, this is an informative, enlightening, and potentially even transformational book, an essential read in an era when making real, meaningful connections seems to be growing more difficult with each passing year.
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Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Seems like a collection of generic, feel-good blog posts on "networking". Wait, it probably is.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 7, 2019
I was hoping to find some genuine, practical and insightful ideas on how to "network" in a human and interesting way. This book has none of this. NONE. It''s a very unspecific, unattractive collection of advice aimed at middle aged people who apparently don''t even know how...See more
I was hoping to find some genuine, practical and insightful ideas on how to "network" in a human and interesting way. This book has none of this. NONE. It''s a very unspecific, unattractive collection of advice aimed at middle aged people who apparently don''t even know how to use Linkedin and Twitter (?!). The author worked at Google "before it was cool" and came recommended by some Ted talk personality. They got me with that trick. Unfortunately neihter her Google experience, nor Ted talk'' endorsements can add anything to a book from which I could take literally ZERO advice. I''m sorry for the author, but I finished it out of curiosity (can a book be so useless from beginning to end?) and threw it straight in the bin. My advice? Read instead: How to influence people and win friends Dale Carnagie. An absolute classic, used by millions and quoted in movies, songs and thousands of other books. Most of modern books on the topic are often a lame version of Carnagie''s bestseller.
I was hoping to find some genuine, practical and insightful ideas on how to "network" in a human and interesting way. This book has none of this. NONE.

It''s a very unspecific, unattractive collection of advice aimed at middle aged people who apparently don''t even know how to use Linkedin and Twitter (?!).

The author worked at Google "before it was cool" and came recommended by some Ted talk personality. They got me with that trick.

Unfortunately neihter her Google experience, nor Ted talk'' endorsements can add anything to a book from which I could take literally ZERO advice. I''m sorry for the author, but I finished it out of curiosity (can a book be so useless from beginning to end?) and threw it straight in the bin.

My advice?
Read instead:

How to influence people and win friends Dale Carnagie.

An absolute classic, used by millions and quoted in movies, songs and thousands of other books. Most of modern books on the topic are often a lame version of Carnagie''s bestseller.
3 people found this helpful
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ian
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
sale of old age
Reviewed in Germany on July 30, 2019
The book is well written and often funny. I recomend reading it. There are some bothersome things in the book that I like to shine a light on: - I got impression that the authoress desperately tries to stay current with all this technological advance in communication. So...See more
The book is well written and often funny. I recomend reading it. There are some bothersome things in the book that I like to shine a light on: - I got impression that the authoress desperately tries to stay current with all this technological advance in communication. So desperately in fact that it looks as some sort of sale of older age and wisdom - I did not like a fact that the authoress overestimate youth in bussines environment and degrades approach and experience of older folks - And I did not like the fact that just to try to slightly emulate her style of communication it means practically eliminate the most crucial thing on earth - time and energy for a family, wife and children. Because to keep in touch with all all this business contacts, acquantances and so called friends demand too much time which is too precious to squander it on superficial contact. I admit that some forms of all this communication channels is useful and can land you a job and some friends, but I do not know if it is worth it. We live only once and our time on earth is numbered. I would rather spend that scarce time on quality and good deeds than spread myself too thinly on things that are so prosaic. Kudos to the authoress for some good chapters on socializing in person and small talk.
The book is well written and often funny. I recomend reading it. There are some bothersome things in the book that I like to shine a light on:
- I got impression that the authoress desperately tries to stay current with all this technological advance in communication. So desperately in fact that it looks as some sort of sale of older age and wisdom
- I did not like a fact that the authoress overestimate youth in bussines environment and degrades approach and experience of older folks
- And I did not like the fact that just to try to slightly emulate her style of communication it means practically eliminate the most crucial thing on earth - time and energy for a family, wife and children. Because to keep in touch with all all this business contacts, acquantances and so called friends demand too much time which is too precious to squander it on superficial contact.
I admit that some forms of all this communication channels is useful and can land you a job and some friends, but I do not know if it is worth it. We live only once and our time on earth is numbered. I would rather spend that scarce time on quality and good deeds than spread myself too thinly on things that are so prosaic.
Kudos to the authoress for some good chapters on socializing in person and small talk.
One person found this helpful
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Nigel Rawlins
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A refreshing and motivating focus on networking
Reviewed in Australia on August 18, 2019
Like many people, I cringe at the thought of networking. But when you run a business, it''s important. Twenty years ago when I started my business, it was a contest to see how many business cards you could get, then go on to harass people to give you work, whether they were...See more
Like many people, I cringe at the thought of networking. But when you run a business, it''s important. Twenty years ago when I started my business, it was a contest to see how many business cards you could get, then go on to harass people to give you work, whether they were a fit or not. Karen Wickre has written the book I wish I had read when I first started out. If I had followed her wisdom I think my business today would be very different. However, the lesson from her book is that it is never too late to work on your networking, but to be smart about it. If you are 50+ and starting out in your own business, then this is a book you need to read. It will be most helpful, it is for those who aren''t extroverts or pushy. While I bought the kindle version, I will be buying the paperback when it comes out in November.
Like many people, I cringe at the thought of networking. But when you run a business, it''s important. Twenty years ago when I started my business, it was a contest to see how many business cards you could get, then go on to harass people to give you work, whether they were a fit or not. Karen Wickre has written the book I wish I had read when I first started out. If I had followed her wisdom I think my business today would be very different. However, the lesson from her book is that it is never too late to work on your networking, but to be smart about it. If you are 50+ and starting out in your own business, then this is a book you need to read. It will be most helpful, it is for those who aren''t extroverts or pushy. While I bought the kindle version, I will be buying the paperback when it comes out in November.
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Elena
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not the best
Reviewed in Italy on June 27, 2019
Some basic insights are contained, but on average - the book is filled with useless information. As many other reviews have pointed out - the author could have done better with a long article, rather than a book. Do not recommend.
Some basic insights are contained, but on average - the book is filled with useless information. As many other reviews have pointed out - the author could have done better with a long article, rather than a book. Do not recommend.
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Giorgio Givone
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Molto noioso
Reviewed in Italy on March 16, 2019
Molto noioso. Personalmente credo che il networking sia utile ed efficace quando è spontaneo. Chi pensa di poter ottenere risultati mirabolanti inviando auguri di buon compleanno, o complimenti per le promozioni, si illude.
Molto noioso. Personalmente credo che il networking sia utile ed efficace quando è spontaneo. Chi pensa di poter ottenere risultati mirabolanti inviando auguri di buon compleanno, o complimenti per le promozioni, si illude.
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