Networking: Meet lots of people who do not have a network

Networking. Sounds reasonable — is rubbish.

Collecting business cards is yet to be proven as a successful means of improving ones professional or personal life.

Networking in Shanghai may be even more useless than elsewhere, because:

  • There are many hopers, dreamers and blaggers who want to basically use you (or someone else) for their own means, yet have no way of mutually assisting you
  • China is a connection / guanxi place, and you either have it or you don’t. Meeting a room full of people who want guanxi is not going create meaningful guanxi.

I recently saw a new ‘idea’ of a website that more or less says:

“if you want to meet other professional people for lunch, join us!”

What they do not say are things like:

“we desperately want to create an email list of people in Shanghai that we can sell!”

Or:

“we literally have no idea who will be at these lunches!”

Words like “industry” and “experts” and – even, oh dear – “VIP” are used.

Remember that having 3,000 connections on Linked In may not help you pay the rent.

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Tags: , ,

Categories: Expat Life, Work

Author:developingcityblog

Foreigner in Shanghai

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