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Imagine this:

  • You meet the new next-door neighbor for the first time.  He casually mentions that he is a partner with a retained search firm during the introductions.  You blurt out, “Great!  you find me a job!”

Or:

  • You begin connecting with executives on LinkedIn to look for a new position.  In your first message, you ask the prospective contact to help you find a new job.

Suppose you are that individual.  Congratulations have made the most common mistake of networking.

Whether it is your new neighbor or a LinkedIn contact, if they do not know you, if they do not trust you, they will not refer you.

Professional networking is not a short-term job search strategy.  It is not something you can turn off and on like water at the kitchen sink.

Networking – the art of building relationships — is a long-term investment in your future.