Networking Tip (February 2012)
Don’t expect anything. Your dedication to the industry does not mean that those currently working in it “owe” you whatever influence they have. You should even avoid the mentality that others are in your debt because you did x, y, or z for them. Instead of approaching networking with the goal of gaining favors, try reaching out with curiosity. Contact interesting and relevant people and see what happens. Some of them will respond and some of them won’t. Learn about the people that follow up and why they do. Find out how you can help them — and don’t expect anything in return.