Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Networking Is Not a Dirty Word: A Guest Post by Cynthia Ravinski

Cynthia Ravinski writes Emotobooks, among other things. From her coastal northern setting she works language into stories. She’s been an athlete, a co-pilot, and a world traveler. She’s basked in the light of great poets, and has been educated to high degrees at UMaine Farmington and Seton Hill University. To say she is obsessed with drinking tea is an understatement.

Find Cynthia Ravinski at her Blog www.cynthiaravinski.com
And twitter @CynthiaRavinski

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and authors find friends.

Please welcome Cynthia Ravinski, who's touring the Blog-o-sphere via the Magic Appreciation Tour with her new emotobook, Lingering In The Woods. In case you're unfamiliar with emotobooks, visit this link for more info: http://gritcitypublications.com/Grit_City_Publications/Emotobooks.html

She's written a very down-to-earth and practical article about something any career-minded person needs, but often shies away from. Read on!

Networking is not a Dirty Word

 Being good at networking doesn’t have to mean being the biggest, loudest person at the party. When I figured this out, I took a look at why I hated that word so much and then at how I’d made it work for me without even knowing it.

We had a motivational speaker come to my high school. He was on a book tour, and I couldn’t even tell you the title. This poor guy had the luck of going to high schools to teach kids what he knew about how to be successful.

To sum up that horrible presentation in one word: Networking. He talked for an hour or so about how to network, and this was before the year 2000.

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He wasn’t very motivational to me. I left the school auditorium that day feeling like I had no chance. I knew I couldn’t be like that. I even tried to read his book. Just more blather. I was depressed for a week. His way was not how I would be successful. But then, how could I be successful?

I had to go to college soon and make all those decisions about my future. Blah blah blah. It was terrifying then. But somehow I forced my way through it, doing what worked for me to get into courses, study abroad programs, internships and yes, even a good dorm room one winter semester.

It turns out that I am really good at networking. I’d never have gotten to where I am without it. So maybe it really is important. No, I don’t have the hugest network. But I develop good relationships with the people that I do know. Make a point to keep in touch and scratch backs in return. And I think that was what that presenter was really getting at. One day, someone will need you to get in touch with them just as much as you need to get their attention. And just like that, both of you are in a much better place. It’s happened to me countless times now. All I had to do was swallow and hit send, or pick up the phone. It certainly was never as horrible as I thought it would be.

You don’t have to have the biggest network, but take care of the one you have and it will grow in the right direction. That’s what it’s all about in the end, not knowing all the people, but knowing the right people well enough to stay in touch. And by “right” people I don’t mean the CEO of every company out there, but the people that you connect with. Don’t waste your time on people with whom you share no common ground--doesn’t that just feel awkward all around? That’s not what we’re looking for.

As I begin to take social networking seriously, not too seriously I hope, I’m going to try to keep this in mind.

Have any great networking tools or strategies? Please share them in the comments!


  1. Mysti, thanks so much for letting me post here today and get the word out about emotobooks!

  2. I enjoyed reading your post. I'm one who shudders at the word 'networking' due to the fact that I'm deaf and use a wheelchair. Thankfully, there is much I can do sitting in front of my computer, once I figure out what that is.

    I have four children with spouses, eleven grandchildren, and being one of eight children myself, a large extended family. Now, isn't that quite a network? LOL

    I wish it were that simple, but it does help.

    Thanks, Mysti, for all your informative guests.

  3. Thanks for commenting, Leona! I learn so much from each guest, too. They really benefit me more than me them, I think :)

  4. I'm glad you got something from my post, Leona. Remember it's always good to challenge yourself. Go a little beyond your comforft zone each day and you will travel miles every year. Happy trails!

  5. Great post, Cynthia!

    It may seem odd that the guy who started the Magic Appreciation Tour would find networking intimidating, but I did for a long time. It wasn't until I started using it to just connect with people that I was able to relax. I know we are all supposed to think about how we spend our time in terms of an ROI, but social networking is almost impossible to justify that way.

    I'm with you. The value of your network, no matter how small, is in the people who form your network. Unless you "get out of the bubble" as my wife and I say, you never learn about new opportunities or find those unique relationships that make your life better.

    I'm enjoying your tour. Can't wait for the next stop!


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