Over the last few weeks, I’ve been given a lot of reasons to reflect on personal connections and how important they can be to my career. Or anyone’s career, no matter what they do. In fact, connecting with people can potentially have an enormous impact on our personal lives as well.
Here’s the thing. When someone knows you, remembers having a conversation with you—however brief—you become a person rather than a random face in a crowd. And believe it or not, it’s a lot easier to think compassionate, fair, happy thoughts about a person you’ve actually met, as opposed to a random face you’ve never seen.
Easier to think good things, and harder to think bad ones.
Easier to respond positively rather than negatively.
Easier to understand that person, well, personally.
For instance. Say you’re querying agents (or editors or publishers), and somewhere along the way, you’ve met one. Spent a little time talking to that person. Made a connection with something the two of you have in common, or even just had a good discussion about business. You see them as a human being, and they see you in the same light. Then, when you send that person your query, they think, “Hey, I remember her.” And even if they must ultimately reject you, they’re far more likely to do so with a personalized note, maybe some advice, and perhaps a recommendation that you submit to XYZ who might be a better fit.
This can potentially extend your reach to other networks, other avenues, other possibilities. All because you took the time to talk to that one person when you had the opportunity.
The same thing can happen in any situation. Even if nothing huge ever comes from those connections, our lives will most definitely be richer for them.
Think about it. What connections have you made that have made your life (professional or personal) fuller?