Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fine-Tuning Your Networking

Here are some fine-tuning tips for your networking strategies. Maybe "networking" sounds like a dirty word. But remember, networking does not mean crawling toward the Big Guns, on your hands and knees, eyes downcast, pleading "please, sir, may I have a job?"

Rather, you are establishing business friendships and liaisons--a chain or web of people who together can offer each other the power of multiple resources. You may be junior to many of the people in your network, and you may owe the elders some minimal deference. But the idea of a network is that each person is essentially a peer, having something to offer another.

For example, you may one day be in a position to offer another "junior" in your network a job. After all, you are not going to be an entry-level, fresh-out-of-college kid forever. Inevitably, you will develop, grow, and expand your powers. For instance, I know of an English major who graduated some 10 years ago, and is now giving internships in his company to other English majors.

Another very real possibility: you might hear of one of those elders in need of an employee to fill "X" kind of job. Now, you're very good at "Y" kinds of jobs, and not a good candidate for the "X" job--but you know someone who is. You recommend your friend--both filling an elder's needs for job applicants, and earning the gratitude of the friend who may be able to do a good turn for you later on.

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