We’ve all been there. The never-ending info session or the snoozefest cocktail hour. But networking events are a necessary evil if you want to get ahead, right? Maybe not. One thing’s for sure though — networking is the worst for these 6 reasons.
1. They’re almost always after hours
The last thing you want to do after a long day of work is muster up the energy to meet a bunch of strangers. Then there’s the occasional “breakfast” event, which always starts at some ungodly hour. Nothing like making a first impression before your first cup of coffee, looking like you just rolled out of bed.
2. So, uhhh…what do you do?
Step 1: Spend 5 minutes in the lobby psyching yourself up to approach a group of strangers.
Step 2: Buckle up for someone to recite their resume for 5 minutes without taking a breath. “Well actually I’m a senior VP of experience at a series B startup…” When the stream of B.S. finally stops, don’t even think about asking them what they actually do.
3. They can be overwhelmingly crowded
The only thing worse than walking into an empty networking event is walking into an insanely packed one. The room was designed for 50 people, but 100 showed up. And lucky you, the first person you meet just finished a double helping of garlic bread.
Work Club isn’t networking, and you can do it during normal business hours. Join one near you.
4. The conversation ripcord
You’re guaranteed to get stuck in a conversation you desperately want to escape. So you’ll be faced with a decision:
Come up with an excuse to slip away, and risk standing alone for the next 10 minutes
fake a smile, act interested, and hope someone comes to your rescue.
5. The “I love to network” guy
Every networking event has someone who lives to network. Their favorite hobbies are talking about themselves and adding random people on Linkedin. At some point in the night, you’re gonna get cornered by this person.
6. Someone always tries to sell you something
“Enjoy this free pizza. Oh! And while you’re here, let me tell you about this timeshare opportunity…” It costs money to find a venue, order food, and market an event. So it’s not unusual for the organizer to have an ulterior motive, especially at free events — if you’re not paying, then you’re either being sold or sold to.
Is it just me, or is it really hard to make friends as an adult? – @VickieLi “Young, Successful, and Depressed”
It’s not just you. At my company Out Of Office, we started with a simple idea:
What if you could make new connections during normal business hours? And what if you could actually get work done while you’re at it?
Then we created Work Club. Each Work Club is 4 hours of focused work, with a 15-minute social break designed to foster quick connections and kickstart genuine conversations. It’s a small group of real people with one thing in common: we hate networking events.
I co-founded Out Of Office last year because I believe remote work IS the future of work. But it has some downsides, including isolation and a lack of everyday social interactions. We’re building local IRL communities all over the world, and we call them Work Clubs. We’d love to work (not network!) with you soon ツ