It’s worth asking: when’s the last time you actively used your network?  And I don’t mean to just get what you want – to get a job, to make a deal, or to ask for an introduction.  I’m talking about really using your network to share or connect with people you know.  Someone get a job in your town?  Invite them out to dinner.  A friend lose a job?  Offer some resume and cover letter help.  Read an interesting professional article lately?  Share it with your old classmate who’s into that kind of thing.

You know, build the network.  (Photo by taylortotz101)

It always amazes me how people don’t use their network until they’re asking for something.  If you did this to your friends often enough, they won’t be your friends anymore.  No one wants someone who only shows up when they want something.  So work with your network and give back a little all the time.  You’ll get a much better return on your network when you really need the help if you’ve been taking care of it all along.

-Deborah Fike

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