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Your Admission Ticket to Any Networking Conversation.

If getting a new job is 50% or 75% or more about networking, then any help you can get in that department is worth it, right? Consider one of the best books (at least in this writer’s experience) on networking, Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty by Harvey MacKay. The book is jammed with ideas on how best to build a network; not just to pass your business card around a meeting and move; not just to grab or grin; but to really dig in. As he says, “Building a network is about paying attention to what people want.” At the same time, what do you do if you are the shy and retiring type? If it seems strange or difficult to go up to someone and start talking with them at an event like the MPN Soiree that is coming up on November 12th, here’s a tip from MacKay that’s well worth the money: “For a shy person or for someone who worries about running out of things to say, there is no better resource than the Sunday edition of the New York Times.” It’s a summary of the week’s events, the movie reviews alone will provide you with something intelligent to say about one of the topics that many people pay attention to, and there are always one of two articles on topics you’d never find anywhere else. Did you know that there is a small but growing movement to having weddings on farms? Or that there is a new book out about the letters between two of the foremost poets of the 20th c., Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop? Minor details to many, but intriguing stories that when referred to in just the right way can be conversation builders with other people. The Sunday Times may be written in Moscow, as one of my favorite conservative friends claims, but it still offers an invaluable source for conversation topics with friends and, more importantly, soon to be members of your network. Read it. 

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