The Networking Guide
for International Employment: Part 6
Ethical Networking for Jobs Overseas: The Ten Commandments of Reaching Out in a Principled Way
Have you ever attended an event and been victimized by a Greedy Grabby networker? That’s the person who introduces himself, grabs your business card, and leaves seconds later unless he thinks you can be a rung on his stepladder to success.
Don’t be a Greedy Grabber. Conduct your networking with integrity and a spirit of generosity.
Here are some tips for ethical networking, many cultivated from the supportive community that Keith Ferrazzi has generated around his books, including Never Eat Alone.
I. Build Your Network as a Two Way Street. Be eager to help others in your network. Ask a friend who is conducting a job search how you can be helpful. Email an article of interest to someone you just met. Connect two people in your network to each other. Don’t be a network hoarder; be generous with your contacts and the good karma will fill the universe and return to you.
II. Stay Organized. Find a system to stay on top of your connections and to dos. A spiral bound notebook works well, or Google Docs spreadsheet, or a contact management system such as Jibber Jobber. Not little scraps of paper and the backs of napkins.
III. Thank People Regularly, Deeply and Sincerely. Handwritten thank you cards are the best, but even a short email can express your gratitude. Put a little extra thought into your "thank yous" to let people know how much you truly appreciate them and their help.
IV. Accept No With Grace. Some folks can’t help you or honestly don’t have time. Some places you apply for a job will reject you. It’s part of the cosmic law. The correct response to “No” is “Thank you” as in “Thank you for considering my application. I am sorry I did not get the position but I am grateful we had the chance to meet. I hope we’ll get a chance to connect again and work together in another context.”
V. Don’t Be a Pest. Don’t email the same person every day. Once a week is tolerable. After two tries, wait a week and call. If you still get no response, move on.
VI. Do Your Homework (and Don’t Be Lazy). When you plan a meeting or an email with a new contact, research that person. Find out as much as you can from what’s on the internet, so you can target your question and use his/her time wisely.
VII. Be Prepared. For all your phone calls and meetings, take the time to write out an agenda and some questions. Bring pen and paper to write up notes, as well as a copy of your resume, and, ideally, a sample of work that demonstrates your relevant skills.
VIII. Value the People and Process. Don’t just think of each contact as a means to an end. Learn from all the people you meet, even those who might never find you a job. Demonstrate an attitude of curiosity, interest, and gratitude towards all.
IX. Be Honest. Make sure your resume contains no exaggerations or misrepresentations. In emails and interviews, be clear about your technical and language skills and their limits. Don’t promise to follow up if you won’t.
X. Pay it Forward. After you successfully find a job overseas, be willing to share your time to help the next person who is looking.