A business coach presents a guide to networking for the reluctant.
In this debut, Hollick makes a strong case for the value of learning how to network with others in professional and personal contexts. She offers concrete, actionable strategies for improving one’s social skills and making networking an enjoyable practice. In concise chapters, the author guides the reader through exercises in self-awareness, explains why networking is useful and how to approach it with the right mindset, and then introduces specific techniques for on- and offline interactions, maintaining relationships over time, and finding mentors. A final section explores the role of networking in the workplace. Many chapters include guided tasks, such as a detailed plan for strengthening a LinkedIn profile. Hollick is a solid writer with an energetic voice (“Let me repeat that. Anything that creates, freshens, or strengthens relationships for you is networking for you”), which makes her book an easy, enjoyable read. The information is solidly practical, and she offers citations as well as in-text shout-outs to books that she found most informative during her own networking education. The book’s enthusiasm for LinkedIn as a tool for building connections may not resonate for readers from communities that are less engaged with the site, but it constitutes only a small portion of the text and can be easily skipped. The remainder of the book is well organized and substantive, full of examples of how to establish mutually beneficial acquaintances, how to use networking to find out what lies ahead in one’s workplace, and how to get valuable help from colleagues without seeming too eager. Novices and experienced workers looking to strengthen their skills will find useful insights in these pages.
A thoughtful and detailed self-help work.