This is very similar to a previous article I posted which talks about people who think the interview is all about themselves. In this essence, you need to realize that networking is about the other person, not you!
Here are some ideas to get rid of that mindset and to flip your networking around.
- Instead of going in with the mentality of just getting contacts for yourself and then leaving, change it! Next time you are networking, think of people you know and how they can help the person you’re speaking too. You might think, “what a waste of my time” and initially, yes you are right! However, over time, the more you do this, the more people will repay you and you will have made it easy for them to do so. I’m sure you’ve heard of paying it forward, well here your chance to do so. Next time you’re at an event, go prepared with some contacts that you know very well and who would be interested in helping someone out.
- Become A Mentor – Whether you have a job or unemployed, you know something that somebody else doesn’t. Find a job seeker and become their mentor! Teach them what you have learned throughout your career. Once again, you never know who that other person knows OR who they know who knows someone. With that scenario in mind, let’s say you help that person land a new job, they might be able to refer you into the company now. Or maybe they can set up an informal meeting with their new boss in which now that person might know someone they can refer you to. Starting to see where I’m going with this?
- Make Introductions On LinkedIn – We all have those connections with people where we haven’t spoken to them in a while, but they would help you if you asked. Just recently I had an old college friend reach out to me asking for a contact in the catering business. Luckily, I had another old college friend who owns one of the largest catering businesses in the NYC area. So, I sent them both a message on LinkedIn connecting the two of them. Think of those contacts that you have and how they can benefit other people. LinkedIn is a great tool to stay in touch with old colleagues, friends, hiring managers, etc. Use it to your advantage!
So no longer do you need to be the Networking Grinch, who stole everybody’s contacts! Pay it forward and help a fellow job seeker out. We all know someone who can help someone else, so share that information and you will be surprised at the dividends you’ll receive.
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Be sure to check out my video in regards to my resume writing service, here.