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Behind-the-Scenes No Longer an Option

Posted By Ester Venouziou, Monday, February 6, 2012
First, let me start off by saying that I am not a networking expert. In fact, I don't even like networking. The first 20 years of my adult life I spent in the insulated world of journalism. My job was to help spread the news, not be part of the action. I'd often be places, but my role was as an outsider, and that was perfectly fine with me.

Back then, "networking" to me meant "sucking up," and I'd have none of that. My friends and I would privately groan and make fun of those who did.

Ugh, look at him. He's at it again. Does he have no shame?

Seriously? She's STILL going on and on like that, pretending to care about the editor's new pet parakeet? She doesn't even LIKE birds!!

• • •

Being an advocate for small businesses and the Buy Local movement is one of the primary goals of LocalShops1, and to do that effectively it means I need to be out and about a lot. I can no longer just sit back, watch, report.

Being "out there" still doesn't come naturally to me. I'm not comfortable in crowds, and I'm not much into mingling or small talk. But these days, networking is a big part of my job. I even organize networking meetings, somewhat disguised as lunches or happy hours!

And I've come to realize that though networking certainly involves the "schmoozing" factor, and that sucking up can sometimes get you in the door, effective networking is about listening and building real connections. And that, I love.

Coming this week: Dos and Don't on the Networking Front.

Are you starting over after a layoff? We want to hear your story! Please email us at, and include your story and contact info. We will try to include as many stories as possible in future blogs.

Ester Venouziou, founder of, is available for freelance projects: writing, editing, design or social media. She can be reached at or 727.637.5586.

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Above Promotions Company says...
Posted Tuesday, February 7, 2012
#2012goal ;-)
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