October 2011 Archives

October 6, 2011

Don't Abandon Your Network

We all know by now that networks are critical to our business success and that the web has made our networking more dynamic. But the basics still apply, even as we are experiencing instant gratification -- like when we reach out to contacts on LinkedIn and we are instantly linked to former colleagues and new contacts when they accept our request to connect.

What are the basics? One of them is, don't abandon your network. If you are on a site like LinkedIn for example, it's unwise to assume that just because you have a hefty roster in your network, it means much.

Networks need to be nurtured. So just like the things that hopefully we learned as kids, we need to be gracious and communicative or our networks can languish.

So, let your network know your news that matters. Fill them in on what you are doing, but not just in the self-serving ways, in the human ways.

Recently, a friend in communications mentioned that she had helped several young professionals in their job searches. That's great, but she also commented that some of these wonderful young professionals have not come back to post her when they have secured their jobs. That's unwise.

Humans are social beings. And human nature being what it is, the next time any one of these folks is in need of professional advice or support, they are less likely to get it from the folks in their network that they abandoned when things were going well.

It is also unwise to use your network only to get what you need or to boast about your accomplishments. Tell the folks in your network that you appreciate their efforts on your behalf, so they will be there for you the next time you really need them. And, you will really need them at some point in your professional path.

Don't abandon your network ... it is your safety net for the good and bad times and needs to be nurtured.