Having Trouble Building Your Network? You May Be A Networking Freeloader
Last week my daughter returned home from marching band practice frustrated by the behavior of a fellow color guard member. Apparently this member is notorious for forgetting her water bottle and then asking my daughter for drinks from hers. What's wrong with this you may ask? Well, we live on the Gulf Coast where it is still hot and humid through October. During band practice, water breaks are short so members are reminded to fill their bottles before practice and keep them close by for quick access during these breaks. Forgetting your water bottle can be quite catastrophic in such heat and requests to share water are highly frowned upon by fellow band members who desperately need to ration their own water. Related: Networking Event Coming Up? Put Your Best Brand Forward My daughter always agrees to share because, “Well, she is my teammate, I want to be supportive, and she might get dehydrated." She then disclosed that this teammate is notorious for asking to share school lunch items as well. After ruling out possible financial or family issues for this behavior, I concluded that she is simply failing to be responsible and relies too heavily on her teammates to help her out. Unfortunately, she also fails to return these favors, others are beginning to avoid her, and her teammates have branded her as, well, a freeloader. This story is a perfect example of the importance of both giving and taking when building strong, genuine relationships. And, when it comes to building your professional network, relationships are key. So, if you have become “that" person; the one whom everyone is avoiding and no one wants to help out, it's time to review the following list. If you recognize any of these behaviors in yourself, it's quite possible that you too, might just be a freeloader.