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Why does networking seem so hard?

If you’re in career transition, you are probably sick of hearing, “you’ve got to network!” and “networking is the best way to find a job!” While these sayings might be true, they’re not really helpful because they don’t tell you exactly what is meant by “networking.”

A common perception of networking is that it means “asking for a job” or “bugging my friends for referrals.” Thus, instead of an entirely natural, pleasant activity – the kind of thing you do every day when you need any kind of help or information – networking becomes a dreaded chore that you’re uncomfortable doing and therefore put off, avoid, and don’t get around to.

Jason Alba has written a really helpful blog post (also published as an article in The National Networker) that provides some very specific ways to ask for the help you need – and increase your chances of getting it. Here are his main points – be sure to read the entire article to see how he applies this advice specifically to networking during a job search:

  • Make sure your contacts know and understand what you need.
  • Make it easy for them to help you.
  • Be quick to thank, quick to forgive, and quick to reciprocate.

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