On networking and selling your brand as a geek

My manager at work thinks that I do really good work. I think she tells me thetruth since this is reflected in my reviews and bonuses. But she also says thatgood work alone is not enough, and that I have to go sell myself and networkwith my peers to get more visibility to the important projects that I'm workingon. This visibility is important at the company where I work when review timerolls around.

There's nothing wrong with that (and I really mean it... I'm not mocking anyonehere or the process itself, despite the vague reference to Seinfeld). But thereis something about this process that always made me uncomfortable, and althoughI've always had a vague idea about what it was, I could never nail it down. Or,more likely, I never took the time to think it through and analyze it.

Reginald Braithwaite (of Raganwald fame and now working on homoiconic), a chap that I have followed for a few years now, has put it very succinctly and eloquently:

"... I have social anxiety, and while I am stimulated in an incredibly rich and rewarding way when I meet and talk to people I like and admire, when there are more than a few people in the room I feel incredibly uncomfortable and have to fight the urge to slide out.

The irony of using networking in my career when I'm deathly afraid of one ofthe most important methods of networking is not lost on me ..."

To which I respond: Yes! Me too! I could not have said it better myself.


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