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Reaching out guide / Networking tips

robhaw

I guess that all of us understand the value of networking in today's professional world, however most still had difficulty at some point with networking effectively in a way that is smooth, non-awkward, professional and mutually beneficial. Therefore, I decided to initiate this thread to exchange insight on how to network more effectively within the architecture industry. 

Myself, I've had my share of successful and unsuccessful networking efforts and I am curious about a variety of aspects, but I will start the discussion with the following one:

In the past, I have been advised that a good way to network is to reach out to existing acquaintances or people on LinkedIn, and ask for insight on X matter or Y experience. I have found that this can yield some results,  provided however that you can pull it off smoothly. 

Unfortunately, I personally have high functioning ASD and communication or social interaction nearly always involves a guaranteed amount of awkwardness on my behalf. On one hand, I wish to network but on the other I don't wish to come off as a time waster, or an awkward and disrespectful person. I understand the value of asking smart questions and respecting people's time, but on the other hand I tend to not have a good feel of how much contact is too much and what I can offer to the other person in exchange for their time and advice.

Thereby, I am reaching out to you on here, anonymously, to hopefully hear some tips that will make my reaching out process  smoother and more professional. Are there any golden rules, or perhaps a streamlined process - framework that people follow to make the best impression and reap the maximum benefit upon making contact? 

Feel free to grow the conversation and expand on the topic.

Thank you. 

 
Jun 11, 22 2:16 pm
baboo.fei

I've found a good way to leave a positive first impression is to make the first contact with low expectations of gain (i.e. reach out with the intent of just learning about the other person and their work / company / projects), and then maintain the relationship over a long period of time. When you have some specific career- or project-related interests you can then call up these connections. 

Jun 11, 22 5:17 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

I have ASD traits, I stutter, I live in a rural area and I'm an introvert--not exactly a good combination for networking! But I actually have a very strong, nationwide network, thanks mainly to two things: writing for a popular trade magazine (Fine Homebuilding) and its sister website (Green Building Advisor) and starting a local building science discussion group, which turned into a Zoom-based show available everywhere (https://www.thebsandbeershow.c...). I recommend starting a local discussion group, with a topic of building science or whatever interests you about the profession. It's a good way for us neurodivergent types to interact--focused on a technical topic but not too in-depth.

Jun 12, 22 1:36 pm  · 
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arhiarhi design group

Be urself and polite. Nothing more. Nothing less. Works for me

Jun 18, 22 2:43 pm  · 
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