Friday, October 23, 2009

Are You Really "Networking"? (2)

Make Giving Your Goal: So how can you go about building real relationships? It was easy as a kid, right? As long as you shared your toys and took turns, people wanted to play with you. It’s truly no different now. Think about ways you can give and share. What can you do for others, how can you make them feel good? Remember, no schmoozing allowed! Make your goal to give freely without expectations. Do you have a fellow graduate who is also looking for a job? Trying to develop a network or put together job search materials? Why not help him or her? You might learn something valuable through the process. How can you help the organization you’ve joined? Have you thanked your professors and expressed how they helped you? Learn to be giving, learn to be thankful. Don’t focus on what you’ll be getting in return because you don’t need to worry. When you offer value to a relationship it comes back to you, sometimes in unexpected ways.

Trust Converts Opportunities to Relationships

By proving your value and building real, solid relationships, you will find that opportunities will come your way. Certainly you can ask for help from your network because you’ve developed the kind of relationship where you should feel comfortable in doing so. However, your connections can only do so much and the rest is up to you. Do you have your materials (resume, portfolio, references, etc.) in order and up-to-date? Have you prepared yourself for interviews? Look at it this way: an employer is just another relationship in the making. An employer, just like a friend, is looking for reasons to trust you. If you can effectively prove that you have the knowledge, skills, talents, and personality to fit the position, an employer will trust you enough to open the door to a new relationship. As an employee if you continue to build on that trust, your relationship will grow and new doors will continue to open for you.

Lynn Mattoon is a Content Editor & Career Writer for,, and other career communities.

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