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Continued: Networking from the opposite direction

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Last update: July 18, 2011 - 8:31 AM

Not surprisingly, this approach falls flat. Most people can't or won't help you.

But what if you tried the opposite?

In "Never Eat Alone," author Keith Ferrazzi suggests that real networking is about finding ways to make others successful. With that in mind, you can approach people with this question: "How can I help you?" Big difference.

Do you think you might start more conversations, make more connections, and build a valuable reputation by giving to others before asking to receive? I do.

Think of the most-connected person you know, someone who seems to know everyone else. After talking to that person, how do you usually feel, happy or exploited?

Now, ask yourself this question after your next networking conversation: Is the person I just spoke to happy to have met me? If so, you likely said something to help them, which makes them more likely to remember you with favor ... and help in your job search.

3) Play Harder to Get
Here's a final idea: If the status on your social networking profile (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn) says you're looking for a job, change it to something like, "I am looking to meet people who work in financial services," according to Dr. Barry Miller.

Why? Shouldn't you be telling the whole world that you're looking for work?

It depends. If that approach has produced job leads from your online networks, great. Keep at it.

Otherwise, consider playing harder to get. It may make you look less desperate and more attractive. After all, it's human nature to want what you can't have.

You now have three ways to network from the opposite direction. Instead of asking for jobs -- like everyone else -- try asking for information, giving before you receive, and playing harder to get.

Whatever you decide, be sure to record your results over the next 21 days. Because you can't improve what you don't measure. If it works, do more of it. If not, change or stop doing it.

Now, go out and make your own luck!

Kevin Donlin is contributing co-author of "Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0." Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 20,000 people. For a free Guerrilla Job Search audio CD, visit MyNewJobHunt.com.

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