In the world of networking, your success as a receiver is directly proportional to your generosity as a giver. Take a “me, me, me” approach to networking and you will be met with limited success. Be generous with the information you share, and you will find people equally willing to open doors, offer tips and make introductions.
Two-way networking involves several key activities:
Sharing information and contacts with others
Although a job lead, contact or other information may not be beneficial to you, it might be solid gold to someone else. Do not hoard information. The individual you help today could recommend you for your dream job tomorrow.
Networking is all about people helping people. The more people you introduce, the wider your circle of influence.
It takes only a minute to share a name, pass along a lead, make an introduction, or invite a colleague to an association meeting – but the residual benefits can last a professional lifetime.
Asking for help
As your reputation as a giver grows, you will become increasingly comfortable asking for referrals, introductions, mentoring and other assistance. Do not hesitate to make requests. People cannot help you unless they have a clear understanding of your networking needs and career goals.
Thank the people who help you. A thank-you card or a small gift can leave a lasting impression and help you build valuable, long-term relationships.