Networking is making friends

That's what hit home today after a chat with a networking guru I know.

I've talked several times on this blog about networking--mainly lamenting my lack of skill and of ease in networking.

But on the Hill, networking is essential for success. Whether you are trying to get a bill passed or move up within your area of expertise, you have to know people.

It sounds so simple but to me networking has always been this other realm, separate from the social, the real me. And that was the problem. I took it too seriously and I wasn't myself. The moment that you see it as an opportunity to get something out of someone is the moment that it brings displeasure.

Networking should be fun, because making friends is fun.

So from now-on, I'm banishing "networking" from my vocabulary. I don't want to network but make friends on the Hill. And through cultivating those friendships, I will learn more about the Hill, D.C., and myself.

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