Networking is the process of utilizing your contacts to build opportunities. Some people think that networking is just making these contacts. But networking is not adding to a list. You must actively engage your network, and often.
This does not mean exploiting your connections or annoying everyone until their ears bleed. To make your network function properly, you have to:
- offer your services openly and continuously (as a friend doing a favor, not like a sale)
- maintain your network (by staying in touch with “check-in” correspondence)
- not ask for or expect everything from your connections
By thinking of your network as a group of professional friends you will appreciate the relationship characteristics it needs in order to bring about benefits.