Anne Fulenwider has a problem with the word “networking.”
“Something about it sounds inauthentic to me,” the Marie Claire editor-in-chief tells Business Insider.
But she doesn’t have any issues with the concept. In fact, she’s a strong proponent.
“I absolutely believe that meeting people and connecting is not only crucial in advancing your career, it’s also a great source of inspiration,” Fulenwider explains.
And she would know.
“I’ve gotten every job I’ve ever had, from a waitressing job on Martha’s Vineyard when I was 18, to my current job, because of someone I’ve met and connected with somewhere,” she says.
Because she feels so strongly about building relationships and connecting with others, Fulenwider decided to bring dozens of influential women across a variety of industries together for Marie Claire’s recent Power Trip summit, a 36-hour-long women’s conference sponsored by Dell, Intel, JetBlue, Shiseido, Tacori, and W Hotels.
Events like these are important, she says, because “the more people you meet, the more ideas you get, and the wider perspective you gain on the world.”
We asked Fulenwider for her best networking advice. She said: “Find out in advance who will be at an event, target three people you’d like to meet, and do some research. Think of things you have in common and ways you can actually help each other. And then, if you’re me, you have to battle your inner introvert and make yourself walk over and say hello.”
Connecting with people is not about glad-handing or even distributing business cards, she adds. “It’s about being present in a conversation and genuinely curious about the person you’re hoping to make a connection with.”