The “Give and Take” of Networking

For those interested in maximizing life, networking should be a constant, especially in Sweden, where it can be invaluable for increasing employment opportunities and progressing on a social level.  I've stepped up my game lately by hosting an expat event a few months back and engaging people more deeply. 

Several weeks ago, I met an expat dad and we had an easy conversation; our flow was superb. He has an interesting life and dynamic background. Like me, he’s married to a Swede.

As with most expats, the subject of jobs usually comes up because of the difficulty of finding quality work in Sweden. He mentioned that he applied for one at a company where I knew an influential employee. I told him that I would talk to my contact for him. He was thrilled.

I told my contact that I only met this dad twice, yet had a good feeling about him. I asked her to put in a good word. She immediately wrote an email to the hiring manager, which impressed me. He quickly got a phone interview and had the face to face not long after; something that would have never happened so fast without the connection; maybe not at all.

I invited the dad to lunch earlier this month at one of my favourite places in Lund. As I expected, his interview was very positive.

I've done a lot of networking 'good' in my almost 30 year career, which I’ve enjoyed immensely. If I can help someone along my networking path, it makes the experience even better.  I never expect anything in return although sometimes, people have thanked me in nice ways, which I appreciated.

But…if I should need that dad's help down the road, I will not hesitate to ask him and I have no doubt he will help. A good networker usually finds a way to reciprocate.

Never be afraid to engage those you have helped in the past. Be politely persistent if you must, as sometimes people forget about what you have done for them. I've seen friends unwilling or hesitant to call in a favor after helping someone, which never fails to puzzle me.

Wise networking isn’t easy and sometimes requires a gentle balance of 'Give and Take'.

Give as much as you can and the good will often come back your way. It has for me in a variety of beautiful ways. Do 'Take' when you have a need though, as I've yet to see a person I've helped, not return the favor in some form or fashion when asked.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

Happy Networking!