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Networking Doesn’t Exist: Demystifying Professional Gatherings

In the digital age, terms like "networking," "meeting," and "team" have infiltrated our lexicon, becoming common themes seen in memes we share on platforms like Discord. However, does the traditional concept of networking still hold up, or is it just a myth perpetuated by unfruitful gatherings?

In fact, networking is present in various scenarios in our lives: personal meetings with family or friends, competitions or events about something that interests us, work meetings, external training where we have to interact with other people, among others. In this opinion piece, our Gamer Luís Silva demystifies the concept of networking with an outside-the-box perspective on the topic.

The Distant Reality of Networking Events

Social networks have revolutionized how we interact, creating the illusion of a series of secret and exclusive events where brilliant minds meet. In practice, however, many of these gatherings are less about intellectual exchanges and more about sharing a shrimp puff while attending yet another presentation about a supposedly promising future.

networking sessions casino gaming company
Corporate events can also be moments of harmony and fun, so take the time to forge connections that will help you grow both professionally and personally.

The truth is that, despite some charming people we may encounter, most networking events do not live up to the expectations created.

The Myth of Networking and Social Networks

Since the popularization of the term in the 80s, and with its spread through platforms like MySpace and LinkedIn, networking was expected to expand businesses and opportunities. However, reality often shows exhausted professionals, worried about the end of a long workday, more interested in genuine stories than in business opportunities.

5 Tips for Genuine Professional Encounters

In an environment where superficial connections are frequent, those who choose a more sincere and humanized approach stand out. Here are some guidelines to transform each networking event into a valuable opportunity for growth and learning:

1. Be authentic above all

Being genuine is more effective than trying to project an idealized image, which is usually quite repeated. This is valid not only in professional encounters but also in job interviews, as people are attracted to sincerity and the ability to be who you really are.

2. Quality over Quantity in interactions

Instead of trying to meet as many people as possible, focus on establishing quality connections. A meaningful dialogue is more memorable and productive than several superficial conversations that don’t add much value.

3. Practice active engagement in discussions

Actively participating in conversations and sessions can be more enriching than just being present. This shows respect for the time and knowledge shared by others and can bring you more enlightening experiences in terms of career development.

4. Show respect for the moments and people present

Avoid abruptly leaving or ignoring the formalities of the event, as it reflects respect and consideration for the organizers and other participants.

5. Be present consciously and considerately

Being fully present, with an open and receptive attitude, facilitates deeper and more meaningful connections, which is essential for true and lasting networking. Turn off your phone and focus on the moment in front of you!

Don’t Forget This…

Perhaps true "networking" does not exist in the way we imagine it. Instead of chasing an idealized image of networking, we should focus on creating genuine and lasting connections, which are what truly matter for both personal and professional growth.

The next time you attend a networking event, view it as an opportunity to learn and connect authentically, not as an obligation to expand business. This could completely change your experience.

Opinion piece written by Luís Silva, Chief Marketing Officer at Fabamaq, FBM, and FBMDS, and President of Porto Tech Hub.

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