Friday, July 28, 2006

Don't slam the door on networking

Yesterday brought two discussions of successful people actively avoiding opportunities to network.

Steve Rubel wrote—some say complained—about the behind-the-scenes email among bloggers, which others defend as just networking. I've found my blogs and email to be an effective combination for meeting interesting people, and I'm happy to receive messages from people who think I'm interesting, too.

IQ Interactive recruiter Ragan Jones wrote about the rude response she's been getting from Google employees when she tries to network with them. Folks, networking is not just for the unemployed or unsuccessful, and being rude to recruiters (who know other recruiters) is short-sighted and, well, rude. Life is so much more pleasant when you're nice to people.

You plant your seeds before you need to eat. If you're happy in your job, that's the best time to build your network. If you're successful and help someone else on their way up, they'll remember your help (they may even become clients). Don't turn down those contacts just because you don't need them now. When you need the connections, they'll be harder to make.

Even if you never need another job, and if you never need new contacts in your business (yeah, right), life is better with more connections to people. You never know where a new contact will lead.

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