You already know that networking is important, right? In case you need a refresher, consider this data from the Harvard Business Review article Learn to Love Networking:
When we studied 165 lawyers at a large North American law firm, for example, we found that their success depended on their ability to network effectively both internally (to get themselves assigned to choice clients) and externally (to bring business into the firm). Those who regarded these activities as distasteful and avoided them had fewer billable hours than their peers.
If you aren’t a fan of networking (or if you feel uncomfortable or inauthentic while networking), read Learn to Love Networking and discover four simple strategies to overcome your distaste. Here’s my favorite insight from the article:
In the law firm we studied, we found that attorneys who focused on the collective benefits of making connections (“support my firm” and “help my clients”) rather than on personal ones (“support or help my career”) felt more authentic and less dirty while networking, were more likely to network, and had more billable hours as a result.
In other words, like sales, networking isn’t something you do to someone but something you do for and with others.