Until I was fired back in 1992, I rarely accepted networking appointments.
Well, unemployed puts a new perspective on life. And, since starting my business back then, I have always accepted networking appointments from folks "in between successes."
My commitment to networking often involves giving up an hour of my time and sometimes buying lunch or perhaps coffee or tea.
I have three expectations of people who meet me to network:
1) Be on time and come knowing a bit about me.
2) Come prepared: one or two updated resumes and something to take notes with ... pen and paper or electronic devise. (I'm not impressed if -- when I start sharing contacts -- I have to loan you a writing tool and paper.)
3) A thank you back to me ... a quick email and/or a written thank you note. After all, I donated valuable time to help you, the least you can do is thank me. (By the way, after we meet, I prepare an email with a list of contacts ... I never send it until I've received a thank you note.)
I doubt that I'm alone in feeling as I do.
Many business people willingly share our time and our contacts to help ... but be sure you meet our expectations too!
Unfortunately, lately, I've networked with some executives who don't know or don't follow these "requirements." For them, I still have a draft email listing several contacts that might help their job search. I'm waiting for my thank you note before I hit send.
What do you think? Are there other "requirements" for those who network?
In the meantime, please take time to network with anyone who is in between successes and seeking your help in finding a job.
Thanks and Happy Holidays!