I hate to break it to you, but most job seekers I know make one fatal mistake – they only network when they are looking for a job.
I love the definition of networking on businessdictionary.com:
“Creating a group of acquaintances and associates and keeping it active through regular communication for mutual benefit. Networking is based on the question “How can I help? and not with “What can I get?”
This definition gives us a lot to unpack. Let’s dive a bit further into the concept as defined here.
- Creating a group of acquaintances and associates.
First of all, a network is actively and thoughtfully “created.” It is an active process of seeking to develop a group of acquaintances and associates. Not just passively connecting with those who reach out to you.
- Keeping it active through regular communication.
This is a group you reach out to on a regular basis. You communicate regularly. Regular communication can be as simple as liking a person’s post on LinkedIn. Or congratulating the person for a promotion or speaking opportunity. Or meeting for lunch every now and then.
The important thing is that you reach out REGULARLY. Not just when you need something.
- For mutual benefit. Based on the question “How can I help” and not “What can I get?”
We all know people who only reach out when they need something. How does that make you feel? It makes me feel like the person really does not care about me, and only cares about himself or herself. I am not usually motivated to help those who are only out for themselves.
Instead, if you’re networking for mutual benefit, you’ll be asking “How can I help” and not just “What can I get?”
If you reach out regularly, you can GIVE advice, kudos, and high fives. You can share articles and like and comment on others’ social media posts.
If you regularly give, others will want to give back and help you when you’re in need.
Networking is similar to working an old-school water pump. You have to prime the pump ahead of time before you want a drink. Similarly, you have to nourish and give to your network before you have a need for help.
In summary, networking is nourishing and strengthening your network all of the time, even when you are employed, with the mindset and purpose of helping others.
#Networking #ExecutiveSearch #ExecutiveResumes #JobSearch #JobSeekers #Careers #ExecutiveJob Search #Resumes #Resumewriting