A friend and mentor recently said those exact words, which are rather profound.
With social media, it is easier than ever before to connect with colleagues and friends across states and countries. However, if you aren’t leveraging these contacts for yourself and for the good of the network, then what’s the point?
Networks should a relationship built on give and take. You should be sharing ideas, having conversations and adding value. Don’t just tap the network when you need something.
The Berkley Alumni site has great tips on networking basics, including this gem: Honor the networking code.
“Another way to say this is ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ If you want to have your phone calls returned, return phone calls. If you want help with your career, you must be willing to help others.”
Advancing everyone in the network is the point, be it a new career, industry insights or just advice. Networks should make everyone better.
A couple weeks ago, Aurora wrote a follow up piece on the guest post she did for my blog that really resonated with me. Actually what really resonated was a single word in the comments field – mentor.
Now in the past, business folks really relied on their regional networks and a mentor was someone that they either worked with or connected with through a career services department from college or through a mutual friend. While these mentors shaped the career of many a pro, their reach and expertise (on some things) was limited.
Social media has bridged these gaps and allowed professionals to gain insight from people across the world – most of whom they would have never met in the old dichotomy. Call it a level playing field for industries if you want, but I prefer to see it as flipping the mentoring process on its head.
Sure there are still the traditional mentor-mentee relationships that rely on seniority in companies and in an industry, but I found mentors and advice from within my network from some folks that have less experience overall than I do. This is a good thing though – instead of the one-way street, both parties can now draw from each other’s experience for the collective good of the community. I can only see this symbiotic relationship growing over the next few years.
Who do you see as your mentors? Who do you mentee?
About Jeff Esposito
My name is Jeff Esposito and I am a PR manager at Vistaprint. This blog is a representation of my thoughts and opinions on a variety of topics that do not represent those of my employer.
I will never claim to be right all the time, although my wife may disagree, but rather welcome discussing and debating ideas. I would like to build up relationships and discussions while learning others opinions.
I was born in Jersey City, N.J., I am a graduate of Seton Hall University with a degree in English. I am a PR pro by trade and have traveled all over the East coast in a variety of positions in pro sports and the corporate world.