Monday, July 16, 2018

What Goes Around Comes Around

I had another lesson in the value of networking this past week.

A nearby neighbor of mine is looking to make a job change. He reached out to me, not because I had any position to offer him, but to catch-up over a coffee or an after-work drink, and see who I might know who might be a position to help him.

I readily agreed. Truth be told, this neighbor and I are not close friends. Our kids go to the same school, and we know each other's names, and we say hi and make small talk when we're at event together -- but we don't hang out. I've never been inside his house and he's never been inside mine.

But that's all beside the point. I readily agreed because that's generally what I do. When I'm in a position to do a favor for someone I do it. And not because I'm necessarily expecting something in return, but certainly because I've been in the position to need a favor in the past, and I've always deeply appreciated anyone willing to do one for me.

We even recognized this during our conversation. After I had identified a few people in my network that might be able to help him and agreed to reach out to them on his behalf, and after our conversation had turned to more social aspects, and after he thanked me for meeting with him and offering to help.

"It's no problem," I said. "What goes around comes around."

He knew exactly what I meant, and agreed. Life is too uncertain not to keep your options open and not to keep and regularly connect with a network of professional contacts. When you do, hopefully they'll approach your request in the same way I generally do.

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This post first appeared on Eric Lanke's blog, an association executive and author. You can follow him on Twitter @ericlanke or contact him at eric.lanke@gmail.com.

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