I frequently discuss the benefits and importance of establishing a strong network of contacts with my college students as well as business professionals. I strongly emphasize that networking is a two-way street of give and take. Hopefully, there’s more giving than taking.
Here are a few basic rules for establishing a reciprocal network:
1. You must make connections in addition to being connected.
2. Focus on giving more than getting. Don’t worry, it magically balances in the long term. Remember the Christmas Story?
3. Give generously without keeping score. In fact, don’t ever keep score.
4. Always ask yourself what you can do for someone else rather than asking what they can do for you.
5. Always send thanks to any individual who has helped or done something for you.
I hope today’s younger generations pay close attention to these rules since it is those generations who are criticized for their “it’s all about me” attitudes.
This is some of the most valuable information I can give them as they strive for successful careers.