While true networking is about generosity, the term has a sleazy connotation for some people. Many job seekers feel it’s all about “hitting someone up for something.” They may have even been aggressively approached for a favor and vowed never to be “that” person. Even when people understand how to effectively network – by building long-term relationships and asking AND offering help – they still may resist. And it might not even be clear to them why!
The solution might be simple – try “socializing,” “meeting new people,” or “keeping in touch” instead. I’ve recently seen a few of my clients make a mental shift just by reframing this term. Still not convinced? Ask yourself if there’s anything wrong with:
-sending an email to a former colleague to say hi
-volunteering to serve on a professional association’s membership committee
-asking someone for advice on transitioning into their field
Most would agree these are all low pressure ways to stay visible and establish trust with professionals who might be in a position to hire. But if defining these activities as “networking” is what’s holding you back, experiment with referring to it by another name. It’s worth a try!
Photo Credit: Handshake, by FOTOCROMO