Are you reluctant to network even though you’ve heard that it will grow your career? Networking gets a bad reputation often because of experiences with scheming greedy back-slappers trying to get ahead by bragging endlessly and demanding career help from total strangers. If that’s your view of networking, you’ll be surprised to learn there is a version of networking that many people practice without ever knowing there’s a term for it: Altruistic networking.
Altruistic networking is where you make an effort to learn about your organization and industry’s needs and open positions, hold onto contact information from the networking events you attend, and then do your best to help others make the connections they need to grow THEIR careers.
It’s not just a nice gesture, it puts social currency in your own professional “bank” account so that when you are searching for a new job or the right mentor, those connections will be happy to help you in return…because they’ve already received your help.
This effort to offer value first, or simply to always add value to your networking relationships will ensure that you’re appreciated as someone who gives often and asks seldom. It also builds a solid relationship and reputation among recruiters and search firms who often hear of open positions before they’re advertised. Those are excellent connections for anyone to cultivate!
So, consider growing your network garden with plenty of altruism, a great fertilizer for any career!