Posted on: March 11, 2024 Posted by: Comments: 0

Whether you’re still early in your career or have been working in your field for years, most people have room to improve their networking skills. Today we’re rounding up a few great books about networking for professional women — how to get the most benefit from it and how to use it to help friends and colleagues.

These three books — two focused solely on networking and one more generally about interpersonal reactions at work and beyond. We’d love to hear your recs, too!

If you need tips on building a network, keeping it strong, and aiming to get your career needs met by your contacts, check out these books!

We’ve also discussed how to network when you’re junior, how to build a network and maintain it, alumni mentoring and networking, and networking in your niche — but outside your company. We’ve talked about what to wear to a business casual networking event and a recruiting dinner, as well as how to network with both older men and older women.

3 Books About Networking for Professional Women

Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time

by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz, 2014 (Amazon, Bookshop)

This frequently recommended book is a bestseller and has been called a classic and a networking bible. In the book, Keith Ferrazzi, an entrepreneur and executive team coach, emphasizes the importance of connecting your friends with other friends. He shuns the selfish, score-keeping style of networking while advising readers to build a network that helps them reach their goals and ensures everyone gets what they want.

Ferrazzi’s strategies include consistently keeping in touch with contacts, not just sporadically when you have a particular request; make sure to stay visible; and more. He also provides tips for handling rejection and other challenges you’ll encounter.

In an interview with Fast Company, Ferrazzi described the book’s message: “We came out and said the most important element of networking is building authentic, intimate relationships. And that to do so we need to lead with generosity, asking the question, how can I help you! We talked also about knowing how to ask for help among your friends.”

Praise for Never Eat Alone:

“A business book that reads like a story — filled with personal triumphs and examples that leave no doubt to the reader that success in anything is built on meaningful relationships.” — James H. Quigley, CEO emeritus, Deloitte & Touche

“Keith’s insights on how to turn a conference, a meeting, or a casual contact into an extraordinary opportunity for mutual success make invaluable reading for people in all stages of their professional and personal lives.” — Jeffrey E. Garten, Dean, Yale School of Management

4.4 rating at Amazon; 3.84 rating at Goodreads

Relationships at Work: How to Authentically Network within Your Company

by Rachel B. Simon, 2023 (Amazon, Bookshop)

If you’re specifically seeking advice on networking with coworkers, this is the resource for you. In this new book, Rachel B. Simon, a vice president at AT&T, gives of strategies on how to build authentic relationships at your employer across multiple levels, improve your collaboration, and maintain your personal network. She also provides helpful tools like email templates and checklists — and 200+ examples to illustrate her tips.

Simon’s publisher isn’t one of the large, traditional publishing companies and didn’t seem to get a ton of media attention for this book after it came out, so I didn’t manage to find reviews or interviews to share. However, it’s definitely a great tool that focuses on internal networking!

Praise for Relationships at Work:

“The email templates and tips scattered throughout the book provide examples demonstrating that she can show as much as tell, and can lead us to a new way of thinking about how we can network and be ourselves at the same time.” — David Satchell, author of Extracting the Leader from Within

“This book is a practical guide to help you create, foster, and deepen meaningful and inclusive relationships at work so you can build a rewarding and results-driven career.” — Kelli Thompson, author of Closing the Confidence Gap

5.0 rating on Amazon; 4.7 rating on Goodreads

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

By Susan Cain, 2012 (Amazon/Bookshop)

This bestselling book isn’t specifically about networking, but it can provide insight to the one-third of us who are introverts. In Quiet, Susan Cain, a former corporate lawyer and consultant, explains introversion and how it’s become undervalued, and profiles several successful introverts. This book can help you look at networking in the context of your personality and give you a new perspective on your nature.

In an NPR interview, Cain explained, “Many people believe that introversion is about being antisocial, and that’s really a misperception. Because actually it’s just that introverts are differently social. So they would prefer to have a glass of wine with a close friend as opposed to going to a loud party full of strangers.”

Regarding networking specifically, an interview with Cain on her website offers some alternate methods of developing and strengthening professional connections — rather than, for example, attending big networking events. She suggests finding places to showcase your expertise via writing or giving talks to your colleagues, and connecting with others in small groups.

Praise for Quiet:

“This book … will make introverts and extroverts alike think twice about the best ways to be themselves and interact with differing personality types.” — Library Journal

“An intriguing and potentially life-altering examination of the human psyche that is sure to benefit both introverts and extroverts alike.” — Kirkus Reviews

“I finished Quiet a month ago and I can’t get it out of my head. … It’s also a genius idea to write a book that tells introverts — a vast proportion of the reading public — how awesome and undervalued we are.” — The Guardian

Let’s hear it, readers: What are your favorite books about networking for professional women? Have you read any of the ones above?

Stock photo via Pexels / fauxels.

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