Well now I have kept silent long enough – some people in my network think that it is OK to ignore me for years whilst they are working and suddenly pop back into my life when they need help. Well, I do have feelings you know, despite what you may think. How can you just ignore me for years and then when you need me you contact me, and then drop me again when you are all set! And, to add insult to injury, when you do have a job, you don’t even let me know? (sigh/sob!) Whew. Got that off my chest – thanks for listening.
Let’s recap networking best practices:
- Once you begin to build a network, it is your responsibility to keep it alive and growing.
- Don’t forget to keep in touch with people, even if it is once or twice a year.
- If someone has helped you, make sure you thank them and let them know what it meant to you.
- People in your network understand that we are all here to help each other. However, they don’t like to be treated like fair, or in this case, foul weather friends.
- Remember, networking is a two way street – you help other people. Reach, out to people and let them know you are here to help. Helping can be as simple as a friendly ear when the person is down on themselves.
- The holidays are a great time to network. Since you don’t carry your resume with you, make sure you have business cards to hand out. If you are unemployed you can purchase business cards inexpensively either at places like Kinko’s or Vistaprint.com. Your business card should have your name, title/profession e mail and telephone number with a professional message if you cannot answer.