Effective networking: Swallow your pride

A really smart person I had as a boss once told me that we should ‘network without any shame’. If we need to reach somebody we have to keep on trying and be tenacious until that person bulges. I was too young at that time to realize the value of that statement. Now, after 5 year of job experience I realize that he gave me one of the finest advice that I ever received.


When I started networking quite aggressively I realized that many people are not as forthcoming as I would have wanted them to be. Some of them could be downright rude. They will not pick up my calls or reply to my messages and emails. But I really couldn’t afford to stop trying. So usually after a couple of attempts I tried to use some sort of different approach.

The key theme of this post is not to talk about all the fancy techniques used to get a person to take interest or wriggle information out of a person. The main idea is that if we want to network we really need to swallow our pride. There will definitely be people who would completely ignore us. And that’s fine. A person ignoring us will not make us smaller. We would only be ‘stupid’ if we stopped networking just because a few people chose to ignore us.

Finally, the best part comes when the very person who ignored us once later has to come to us for help. Should we give them the same treatment they gave us? Not really. That is the time to show who the greater man is.

P.S. I dedicate this post to Aminul Haque bhai who was a great person and an even better mentor.

Asif Khan, CFA

Asif Khan is presently a Research Analyst (Financial Sector) for Exotix which is a frontier market focused investment bank. He has more than 6 years of work experience as equity analyst in both buy and sell side roles across Asian frontier markets. Asif is a CFA Charterholder and has a dual major in Finance & Economics from North South University.

8 thoughts on “Effective networking: Swallow your pride

  1. Yes, we have to remember that in our culture, the line between ‘networking’ and ‘asking for favors’ is very thin. Sometimes we may come across as the latter even though our intentions are the former. But we have to be persistent about this to get out of this cultural misunderstanding.

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