October 19, 2016

How not to Network

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.

of Praise

OmniGuide did a search with Travis & Company for a VP of RA/QA that exceeded my expectations for speed and the quality of candidates presented. I highly recommend him for search at this level.

— Scott Flora, President & CEO, OmniGuide