The Difference Between Networking and Demanding

February 16, 2017

Career Advice

2765083201_55a958db14_zDuring the job search, it’s easy to feel like you don’t have the upper hand. You may find yourself sending mass messages to your acquaintances like, “Please check out my LinkedIn profile! I need a job!” or “Can you help me find an ‘in’ with your company?” or “Will you recommend me?” There is one problem: these are all demands. This is the opposite of networking. And it’s lazy.

Quality relationships, internal recommendations, helpful advice, and shared knowledge must be earned. It takes time, effort, and strategy. In order to transition from “demanding” to true networking, you’ll have to sweeten the deal for the other person. There are a few ways to do this:

  • free lunch or coffee
  • praise and compliments
  • common interests or experiences
  • even trades (“an eye for an eye”)

Here are a few sample scripts that show these approaches in action.

  • “You really know how to write up a shining resume. If you have five minutes to spare, would you be willing to share some big picture feedback on mine? I’d so appreciate advice from an expert like you.”
  • “Your career is on fire! I’m so impressed by your recent promotion. I’d love to take you out for coffee and learn more about the company. I’m considering applying for a job there and I’d so appreciate your insight.”
  • “Would you be willing to swap recommendations on LinkedIn? I’m looking for past coworkers to vouch for my leadership skills. I’d be happy to talk about your top qualities like problem solving and team building.” 
  • “I admire your amazing career. You’re exactly where I’d like to be in five years. Would you be willing to have a 20 minute phone call with a fellow University of Wisconsin alumni? I’d love to learn more about how you found such success.” 

See the difference? Now it feels like you have the upper hand because you’re suggesting a proposal that will be hard for them to turn down. What a difference a little effort makes!

Image via Ben Smith/Flickr.

About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

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  1. The Most Important Career Skill is Not What You Think It Is | Spectrum Brands Careers Blog - March 3, 2017

    […] The difference between networking and demanding […]

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