Recently, I got a note from someone who heard me talking about networking on my weekly radio show on Martha Stewart Living Radio.
My boss asked if I knew anyone who might be interested in a position we had open. I emailed some employees from my last job. I can't say I've been good at keeping in touch, but I dropped them a note and asked what they were up to, and invited them to share the opportunity with any qualified professionals. I'm wondering if I sounded as though I was only contacting them because I need something. --Audrey
I say this is a case of good, but not great, networking, Audrey. And I say that mainly because you lost touch with a key part of any network: former coworkers.
People want to know you actually care about them so it’s better networking practice to check in regularly rather than wait until you need something. That said you were offering them the opportunity for a job, so I wouldn’t be too hard on myself if I were you.
There is a lesson learned however. We never know whose help we are going to need so it’s smart to keep in touch with a variety of people in a variety of areas.
In a recent podcast on expanding your network, I mentioned this tip for building and maintaining solid relationships:
Make a list of people with whom you want to maintain contact.
Schedule 10 minutes each week to email or call someone on your list to check-in.
Proactively offer to help where and when you can and the next time you need something, they’ll be more apt to respond.
Good networking is better than no networking at all, but great networking will make you someone people want to associate with and support. It’s clear which is better for your career.
Maggie Mistal is a certified career & life purpose coach and the host of "Making a Living with Maggie," which airs every Friday at 4 p.m. ET on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Sirius 112, XM 157. Please visit her website at MaggieMistal.com.