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Many books are written about networking and the many reasons it is important for your career. What I loved about Lucy Rosen’s Fast Track Networking – Turning Conversations into Contacts book was that it actually explains the important things.
How to place yourself in a room (near a door to welcome newcomers)
Who to talk to (request the attendee list in advance, and target people).
How to start a conversation with a compliment or any of the five other conversation starters
When to give business cards (only if you are asked)
It’s very practical, which I love. It goes beyond what you would expect from an article and can fill a whole book with topics such as setting up your own networking group, if you don’t find one that suits you.
Rosen’s book isn’t just for women. She also draws on the experiences of many men. Although she has made every effort to be inclusive, Rosen is the founder and president Women on the Fast Track, which is a women’s networking organization. There is almost a bias in the text towards helping women network better.
We women tend to minimize our talents and are less comfortable talking about our skills than men. When we first start the networking process, we might be hesitant to highlight our talents. We may feel that we aren’t valuable enough, don’t know enough, or aren’t enough. This is far from the truth. However, women often operate on an emotional level and this is how they often feel about their abilities and skills.
Rosen’s implied reader, which is me, is female. I am a female. The book will be very useful for male readers, but they will have a different experience.
You will find useful information on many topics that both sexes can use. For example, networking when you are unemployed, social media and online profiles, as well as how to organize your contacts and business cards.
Importantly, the section also covers what to do after you have met a great person with whom you want to continue your relationship. Too many people put too much emphasis on the initial contact and neglect the long-term goal of finding people with whom they can work. This book will explain what makes a follow-up successful and how you can make sure you only choose people who are good for you.
The back of the book has a section with useful resources. Although many websites have global reach and are well-respected, the book is heavily focused on U.S. groups and sites.