Have you been reaching out to people on LinkedIn, only to get ignored and rejected?
Or perhaps you are getting a few people to respond to you, but before you know it, they start ghosting you. They just disappear and you never hear from them again.
When this happens enough times, the frustration and exhaustion sets in, and you wonder if it’s worth it.
you say to yourself, “Everyone says networking is the fastest way to get a job. How is that possible if no one is willing to talk to me?”
Chances are, you’re taking the wrong approach.
You see, the most common way I’m on the receiving end of “networking”, is people reaching out to me only when they need something.
Messages are always centred around “Can you help me”. Don’t get me wrong, personally, it’s my duty to help fellow newcomers.
But others may not feel the same, especially hiring managers whose only priorities are to themselves and their personal needs.
If you want to turn things around, stop asking and start helping.
Now I know you might be thinking, “That’s crazy Connel. Why should I be the one helping others when I’m the one that needs help?”
The harsh truth?
Nobody cares that you need help. At least not until you give them a reason to care.
It’s called the “Power of Reciprocity”, a concept made famous by Dr. Robert Cialdini in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.
It’s not a new concept. Very simply, it states that people are more willing to help you if you’ve helped them first.
You knew this already. What you probably did not know is just how powerful reciprocity is and how widely it’s used around us, especially in business.
- Those free samples you get at the grocery store – reciprocity
- A free mobile app – reciprocity
- A free dental checkup – reciprocity
All of these are tactics to get you to buy the product later, make in-app purchases, or sign up to a membership.
Give first, ask later.
What you also probably did not know is the same principle applies in networking.
Even if you’re not asking your network contact for a job. Their time and attention is valuable to them too.
So instead of asking, start giving to your network. Share articles with them, share news about the industry or their company. When enough of these messages have been sent, then you will discover the ask you make will get a lot more responses.
Yea, it’s a lot of work. Consistency takes time and effort.
But that’s what it takes to thrive in your career these days.
So the next time you reach out to a hiring manager who is a total stranger, experiment. Instead of asking for anything, just start giving information freely and consistently (once a week). At the end of the month, ask for a Zoom meeting – and see what happens!
You’ll be pleasantly surprised and astonished at the power of reciprocity.