For some, this sends shudders down the spine and conjures images of corporate shoulder rubbing, back slapping and 'jobs for the boys' - fake smiles and crocodile teeth with snake oil at the ready to grease the poles that require greasing.
For some, this sends a shudder down the spine because of a genuine fear, networking means going to a place where you potentially don't know anyone - #awkward - it's out of the 'zone of comfort' as Gary Cookson describes after his last networking experience here.
For some, this sends a tingle of excitement from their head to their toes, the opportunity to meet new people and catch up with old friends alike. The opportunity to spend some time with people who genuinely care about the things you care about, who share your passions, frustrations and have experienced things similar to you and can add perspective and words of wisdom - or just listen. People who genuinely care about you, a network of professionals up and down the country who join together to chat and then chat some more about all sorts of things. Improving what we do and how we do it are often at the heart of these conversations.
Let's face it everyone experiences Networking 2 it's a fact of life - we do things we aren't sure about, bravely go where we haven't been before, whether you are an introvert or an extrovert - everyone gets nervous about new experiences and meeting new people.
I was lucky enough to attend a L&D Connect networking event about 3 years ago. I have met some fantastic people through the network, I attend them whenever I can, although I'm based in Manchester I've attended these events in Edinburgh and London and will happily travel to attend these great events.
- Why would I not want to connect with like minded people?
- Why would I not want to learn from others?
- Why would I not want to build my L&D / HR network further?
- Why would I not use this as CPD activity and evidence?
- Why would I not want to come and hang out with a bunch of cool, forward thinking people?
- Why would I not want to enjoy a couple of drinks and some dry roasted peanuts?
The answer is I would and I am excited that L&D Connect is holding an event next Wednesday evening on the 4th November at 6pm in the Rain Bar in Manchester. So if you're attending CIPD ACE then it's straight after this. If you're not attending CIPD ACE then it's a great reason to come in to Manchester and enjoy Networking 3 with a lovely group and meet some new people to add to your own Personal Learning Network. It's not just L&D professionals - anyone in HR is welcome.
I'll be there so you already know one person who is going to be there (albeit virtually in some circumstances)...
It's really easy to register and it's FREE - just click the link below and enter your details
I'd love to see you there!