Networking in the Heartland
By Laura A. Ewald
The term “networking” has never been one of my favorite words, but I am more than willing to admit to the importance of networking in our profession. Still, before experiencing the rich opportunities of the Heartland Chapter meetings over the last couple of years, I never would have imagined just how important the Heartland Chapter would become to me.
My first meeting was in the spring of 2009. Fellow Heartlander Margie Towery spoke, which was my first experience with a face-to-face workshop—talk about inspiration! Just as important to that meeting, though, were the friendships I made. Imagine my delight when I got to meet my fellow UC Berkeley “online classmate” Kay Reglein in person! And the weekend started with some really good conversation when I had dinner Friday evening with Sue Klefstad, who was as new as I was to indexing.
The fall 2009 meeting turned out to be a real inspiration to me, and not only from Charlee Trantino’s Saturday indexing presentations. Cathy Seckman and I were able to have dinner with Charlee on Friday evening. We didn’t talk much about indexing, but we talked a lot about writing and publishing. Thanks to Charlee’s encouragement and advice, I started writing fiction again and submitted a new novel to a publisher before Christmas. While that publisher was not interested in my book, in the spring I submitted it to another, and the manuscript is now being reviewed. I have since written a paranormal novella and a second romance, for which I am currently working on a sequel. All it took was some stimulating face-to-face conversation with a couple of other enthusiastic writers to get me back at the keyboard!
Spring 2010 was an even more significant networking experience for me in terms of my indexing business. This time, three of us Heartlanders had dinner with Enid Zafran. It was a great opportunity to hear more about the business of indexing from a real pro. My own networking with Enid had even more tangible results. While taking her back to the hotel in Indianapolis on Saturday evening, she offered me some abstracting work, and I was able to learn more about her Indexing Boot Camp. Thanks to the abstracting work she sent me, I was able to afford to do Enid’s Boot Camp in September, and she has already sent me some indexing work.
While indexers have plenty of opportunities to network online through e-mail lists and resources like Jan Wright’s Indexers Network, if you’re like me, you probably forget as many user names and passwords as you remember and don’t always take the time to visit these resources. For me, there’s nothing as rewarding or professionally supportive as the face-to-face interaction at a Heartland Chapter meeting.
© 2010 by Heartland Chapter of ASI. All rights reserved.
Tips for Successful Networking
Bob Burg, author of Endless Referrals: Network Your Everyday Contacts into Sales writes:
From “The Grand Paradox: ‘Real World’ Giving and Receiving” [Full Article].