Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Are You Boring Your Network Silly?

I don't watch soap operas anymore, but I certainly did when I was younger. I scheduled my college classes around "The Young and the Restless." (Tom Selleck was HOT.) I played hooky from work just so I could see Luke and Laura get married on "General Hospital."

One of my long-time favorites was "All My Children." I watched it from the time when Susan Lucci was on husband No. 1. But then after many, many years of watching the show, I quit. I simply lost interest.

I don't remember the exact story line that did it, but it had something to do with Natalie being stuck in a well for nine days. Well, it was nine days in human time -- but only eight hours had passed in soap-opera time.

But I just quit caring about Natalie after hearing her cry and whine and beg for days on end. I'm sure she got out of that well one day, but I just couldn't make myself care.

I haven't watched a soap opera since that time.

Sometimes when we're looking for work -- and it drags on and on -- we wear out those people around us. We whine the same refrain over and over and never give our audience a break.

When you're looking for a job, or a chance to move up in your career, are you keeping your audience -- your connections -- intrigued? Do you make them want to stay tuned to see how your story is going to turn out, or just bore them silly with the same demands and complaints?

Here's a task for you today: Find a different story line to tell your network. Send them a note and tell them something great you learned in your job search. Mention someone really nice you met, or how your new volunteering stint is really keeping your spirits up.

People want to help, and they want you to succeed. Just make sure that you don't make them feel like they've been stuck in a well forever. Because the first chance they get, they'll leave and won't care if they're part of your network anymore.

What are some ways you can continue to add value to your network?


Barbara Safani said...


Great post! I think another thing that wears thin very quickly on a network is when job seekers write "looking for work" or "does anyone know of anyone hiring in industry X" on their status updates on social media profiles. A better strategy is to share advice, knowledge, and insights with your network rather than try to get something out of them right away. As is always true with networking, those who give, get.

anitabruzzese@mchsi.com said...

Thanks so much...very well said!!