Quit calling me a ‘networker’
I like enjoying the company of others
Networker - few harsher terms exist in today’s yuppie society. With that label the image of a deceptive, soulless excuse of a human, whose sole purpose in life manifests itself in five (oddly catchy) words - “get rich or die tryin”.
Hyperboles aside, I have noticed the term ‘networker’ gets thrown around often. And along with its seemingly objective definition comes a negative connotation. Somehow, all your interactions with people are viewed as opportunistic and superficial at best. On top of that general stereotype, being a Muslim of South Asian descent adds more fuel to the fire. Not only is the label ‘networker’ bad, but the act of meeting people is bad as well.If you go up and voluntarily talk to a member of the opposite sex,you’re automatically a philanderer. If you text a member of the opposite sex you haven’t seen in a while, then it’s assumed you lost your virginity and you’re going to Hell. Being labeled a ‘networker’ seems like a polite version of being called a whore.
That sucks for someone like me. As an ESTJ/ENTJ (slight identity crisis with the MBTI test), I’m a definite networker. I love meeting new people, and I am truly fascinated at seeing how different people are connected to each other. About a year ago, I set a goal about of meeting a new person every day. Soon I increased it up to 10 people a week, and finally 14 a week. 99% of my new friends give me nothing from a career perspective. But I still enjoy the relationship I have withthem. Hearing a new person’s story opens up a part of my universe that was closed before. Sometimes profound personal growth came from the most harmless of stories. Listening to other people, and seeing the satisfaction they get out of being heard is a great feeling.
While you can call me a networker because I do like meeting new people, I despise the baggage that comes with that term. As someone who loves to listen, I hope in the future people can see past the extroversion and curiosity and understand the boyish wonder that lies underneath. At the end of the day, I just love a good story.