Networking is easy — except when you make it hard on yourself.
Last month I ran into a medical device executive I’ve known for a couple of years (let’s call him Peter). He’s considering a job change and a couple months earlier asked me for a few referrals.
“How’d it got with those introductions?” I asked.
“I never got in touch with them,” he replied. “I’ve been so busy.”
I was mildly annoyed. He’d asked for introductions with a sense of urgency. I guess it wasn’t that urgent after all.
Job seekers, and everyone else who has occasion to ask for a professional introduction, take note.
When you ask for a referral, you are asking someone to take time and expend relationship equity with the individuals you want to meet. It’s not a big deal, but it’s not trivial, either.
Asking for a referral and then not following up is a cardinal sin. You’ve wasted the time and goodwill of the person from whom you requested the favor. You can only make that mistake once, because you won’t get help a second time.
I’m sure Peter will be back with another request. But next time, I won’t be nearly so eager to help.