Career Library: Susan RoAne's How to Work a Room

The Ultimate Guide to Making Lasting Connections - in Person and Online

Latest #CareerLibrary Selection.


Almost everyone tells you it is a good idea.  That it will advance your career.

In an earlier article, I described one view of networking as "meeting new and interesting people".

But in reality, the key to networking is "to make lasting connections".

And that statement is drawn from the the subtitle of the latest book to add to your Career Library is Susan RoAne's How to Work a Room: The Ultimate Guide to Making Lasting Connections - in Person and Online.

It is an important to realize that that the idea of meeting new and interesting people has to be a first step in the goal of making lasting connections.  And what How to Work a Room delivers is a road map to take you from Point A (meeting new and interesting people) to Point B (making lasting connections).

The book will benefit you in your effort to develop the conversation skills and online tactics to build your network of trusted colleagues and potential business partners - and does so in a step by step fashion that is easy to understand, digest and apply in your every day life.

Three key themes that I drew from reading the book are:

  1. The "Rooms" Concept  The theme of "working the room" is used throughout the book to emphasize that communicating happens in a variety of settings - for example in person, on the phone, speaking in front of an audience, via electronic communication, through social networks - and each "room" is a little different.  But that there are also similarities as you "move" from one "room" to another.
  1. How Not to Do It  The focus of Chapter 7 (Mr. {or Ms.} Sleaze Works a Room: Or How Not to Do It) is inappropriate behaviors and tactics.  So if you spot yourself in the descriptions offered here - and modify your approach - the book has more than paid for itself.  Another benefit of covering this topic is the Ms. RoAne offers advice for handling and avoiding this type of person, who you will undoubtedly encounter in your career.
  1. Working the Trade Show or Convention  Chapter 17 provides great insights on how this room is different and demands a different approach.  In many ways this is the prototypical "networking" environment.  But it is a marathon and requires extensive planning and execution.  This chapter provides a great game plan.  I've written about the importance of networking at conferences before, but the suggestions offered here will supercharge your results.

These three themes are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what is covered in the How to Work a Room.  To get the full benefit, you must - of course - read the book.  Once you do, it is likely to become a key resource in your Career Library, and one you refer to on a regular and ongoing basis.

And if that is the result, you will not be alone.  The book has sold over a million copies and the current edition commemorates the 25th anniversary of the original - a fact that reminds us all that even as much as the world has changed in the last quarter century, meeting new and interesting people and making lasting connections never goes out of style.