There is no doubt that building a strong network of professional relationships and “making fans” is hard work, and requires a lot of time, effort, and patience to see those relationships pay off in a beneficial way for your career. Simply making a connection isn’t enough to solidify a useful contact, and the most advantageous professional relationships come from genuine and consistent efforts amongst both parties.
One frustration that I often hear from clients about their relationship building efforts is, “I connected with (alumnus, executive, friend), and we had a great conversation. I reached out a few months later to ask if they knew of any job openings, but I never heard back from them.” This is fairly common, and leads to guessing why their efforts to build a strong network of fans doesn’t seem to be paying off, yet.
If you are feeling frustrated by a similar scenario, here are five reasons why you may not be seeing a benefit from your professional relationships:
Don’t let go of the professional relationships you’ve put in the effort to cultivate, but that haven’t provided a payoff, yet. Reflect on how you can show your true value and best utilize the relationships you’ve worked hard to build. Know what benefit you want from your contacts, make a plan to stay connected and eventually you will see great results!