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4 X 4 Networking Challenge: March Update

Posted on the 15 April 2011 by Classycareergirl @classycareer
4 X 4 Networking Challenge: March UpdateTime for my monthly update where YOU keep my accountable and I get to hear how you are doing with the 4 X 4 Networking Challenge (read here for my Jan and Feb updates).  Have you asked someone to go on an informational interview or called up a friend you haven't spoken to in awhile for lunch?  If you have, I would love to hear about it!
As always, I learned a LOT this month.  I always thought that the first month of this challenge would be the easiest because I would eventually run out of people to interview.  Exactly the OPPOSITE!  Everyone I interview has other people that they want me to talk to.  This has led to many more informational interviews and people that I can learn from.  I have begun to really look forward to conversations and no longer rely on my trusty list of questions to ask.  My conversations are much easier and I am much more relaxed.  And it is now much easier to leave for a quick lunch or coffee or escape for 15 minutes for a quick phone informational interview.
This month I caught up with a high school friend and three college friends that I haven't seen in many months due to my crazy MBA school schedule.  I also caught up with 4 people who were referred from other people.  I met with a recruiter, 2 people at my current company and a woman who started her own training company.  I also did something that I have been planning to do for many months now.  I attended an American Society For Training & Development (ASTD) meeting and really enjoyed the speakers and people who I met.  I exchanged business cards with three people who I am now going to be meeting for lunch in April! 
I hope this update makes you see how easy networking can really be.  After three months, it has now become a habit to ask people to go to lunch and it doesn't seem like a pain to juggle my schedule.  I know that these interviews will only lead me to new and exciting adventures in the future and I am excited to find out what those may be.
Do you think networking is easy?  What scares you about reaching out?
(photo found here)

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