Interestingly enough, some people I would have bet my new job’s salary
on as most likely to respond to my request, never sent a note back or returned
my call. I learned not to be surprised, for a variety of reasons: people
may have been scared for their own jobs; people may not have known what
to say, so they used silence; I might have had the wrong contact information
(e.g., I found typos in some of my contact information); people were on
vacation or out of the office; or people didn’t always keep up with updating
their own contact information on social media sites (e.g., LinkedIn). In
all cases, I hold myself fully accountable for not having established a more
predictable relationship during the networking process. I needed to follow
up more often, and maintain stronger ties to ensure contact information
remained current. Networking is not a check-the-box exercise. Like any
strong relationship, it takes ongoing work and maintenance. The work becomes
harder if you are making up for lost time. I stopped being surprised
when I didn’t get return calls, and instead set in motion action plans to get
more creative in my attempts to contact people—meaning I didn’t rely solely
on emails, I tried contacts at different times, and I followed up.
It’s important to understand that you are not stalking or annoying
people in your attempt to contact them. However, by holding myself
accountable, I was digging down deep in questioning how accurately I
understood my own network. We get too comfortable, at times, in our
dependence on our network by thinking it truly is a net. It is a net only
if we weave it properly, using people we can depend on. Stop making
assumptions about your own network and start being an active part of it.
You will build mutually stronger and deeper relationships.
Thomas B. Dowd III’s business books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):
- Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
- Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work received Honorable Mention in the General Non-Fiction Category at the 2014 Paris Book Festival and Honorable Mention in the Business category at the 2014 New York Book Festival
- The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World received Honorable Mention in the Business Category at the 2012 New England Book Festival
- From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference, Honorable Mention at the 2013 New York Book Festival, and Honorable Mention at the 2013 Paris Book Festival.
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MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby