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Happy New Year, happy new episode of The Big Middle. The first month of every new year heralds a blizzard of resolution listicles - 10. 20, 50 ways to go faster, go smarter, be more authentically you - whatever that means. How to network is the useful perennial I've got for you this week but with a twist. Karen Wickre is the author of Taking the Work Out of Networking: An Introvert’s Guide to Making Connections That Count. I reached Karen at her home in San Francisco.

Hear what when:
  • Networking lessons from her executive life at early Google and Twitter

  • We know we need to network but why do we dislike it so much?

  • My love-loathe relationship with social media

  • How to establish and maintain your online networks without feeling overwhelmed

  • The importance of thinking beyond your immediate social and professional contacts to your “weak ties”

“We’re all going to need some help and some advice and some introductions from people we don’t know well. I view it as a pay-it-forward kind of thing. There’s a little bit of give and get that should happen.”

  • Her take on common complaints about the transactional, dehumanising nature of networking
  • Approach differences of extrovert and introverts at networking mixers

  • Her recent experience teaching a networking workshop with modern elder Chip Conley at his Modern Elder Academy in Mexico

  • Don’t maintain a fixed mindset if you’re a midlifer in transition and want to make better connections

“More than the tactics...the underlying notion is having a growth mindset, having a sense of curiosity, having a sense of openness, having a sense of why not, just to explore new ideas and get out of old ruts.”

  • The power of mentoring in both directions across the age spectrum
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