I’ve done more networking in the last week than in my entire career.
Shanghai is the epicentre of networking and events. I’ve honestly never come across anything like it. Every night there are lists of networking events posted on social platforms, and you’re bound to find one that can help you in some way.
I am originally from Perth, Western Australia, and since moving to Shanghai, I’ve decided that Perth has to seriously pick up its game when it comes to networking. Plus, the population of Perth is 2 million, compared to Shanghai’s 26 million. I think everyone in Perth could stand to gain a few more valuable human resources in their pool.
By the way, networking does not come naturally to me. I find it exhausting, nerve wracking, embarrassing. There is a particular breed of person that is comfortable talking about themselves and all the wonderful, important things they’re doing - I am not one of those people.
But that’s not to say I can’t learn. Like anything, good networking can be learned with lots of practice. And it should be learned. I’m blown away by how willing my new network is to help me on my professional and personal projects. Need camera equipment? No problem. Need volunteers for a research project? Piece of cake. Not only are people willing to help, they’re willing to help for free. And later down the track, I would return the favour.
Either way, I’m impressed and inspired. Everyone should take a leaf out of Shanghai’s book. Not only is it a valuable new pool of resources, but I’m also able to learn about what other people are working on, draw inspiration from that, learn from that and perhaps later, use that knowledge.