Master Career Counselor

Carla Hunter, President of Career Span, Inc. is a Master Career Counselor (MCC) by the National Career Development Association and a Certified Career Coach by the National Board for Certified Counselors. She is an expert in writing resumes, effective job search strategies and interviewing success. Most recently, with over 20 years of navigating the complexity of today's world of work, she published "Finding Your Place in the World of Work", a career interest inventory (2014) and CareerView, an iPad app. As a private practice career counselor and a workforce development consultant, this blog is Carla's trove of ideas, trends, forecasts, and career tips for finding meaningful work.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Interpersonal routing: The new branding and image of networking

I vote we lay the concept of networking to rest.  Let's bury a negatively perceived word and replace an outdated concept with a new way of connecting to people.  The reasons for such an idea include:

1.  Networking is a word rooted in the pyramid schemes of the 1970's that translated to: "Get as much out of people as you can without giving anything in return."  It was all about taking without any regard to giving.

2.  Many today see networking as a fake, "schmoozing" type of ineffective means of connecting  to others that feels totally awkward at best and humiliating at worse because there is no direction or point to the "small talk".  It is embarassing to those who aren't proficient in establishing quick rapport.

3.  Networking is viewed by many career experts as the key to success but those who need it most completely balk at doing it.

4.  It is an overused, undervalued term that needs rebranding.  It needs a new identity and buy in from 99% of the American population.  Networking makes people break out in hives.

So, are you ready for the new concept that must replace it?

Interpersonal routing

This new career term and way of life is vital for your success both professionally and personally.  When approached in a healthy manner it is painless, carefree and very powerful.

Let's take a look at where the words originate:

Routing is a word derived from technology and the computer age involving the process of moving information from one place (the source) to another (the destination). Routing is usually performed by a device called a router. Routing is absolutely essential to the Internet because it provides the means necessary for messages to pass from one computer to another and eventually reach an intended target. Each individual computer routes data by passing along the message to the next computer. The goal of routing is to determine the best path of how information travels and reaching a destination.   Now, take what I've written about the router to your daily life and how you take in and give out information and energy.  We are routers for one another. 

Isn't that how it is suppose to be with humans?  Shouldn't we be intentional about connecting to one another and exchange information?

Thus we get the word interpersonal.  This word indicates a connection to another based upon several key components:

  • mutual respect built over time
  • kindness extended
  • positive regard shared with others
  • the opportunity to help another when possible
Interpersonal relationships are vital to our wellbeing.  When we combine the words "interpersonal" and "routing" we've coined a new approach to the importance of developing relationships with people that involve the exchange of information leading everyone to a destination or path that is best for the whole rather than only an individual.  This is the central tenet of interpersonal routing. 

In my next post, I will give specifics on how to integrate interpersonal routing in your life.  For now, let go of the overused and misunderstood word, networking.  It is time to put it out of its misery and bury all the negative feelings it leaves behind.

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