And if you know anyone, anywhere or have any friends or family you can do it too!
Networking is how you can find a job, find an apartment without a pesky broker, or find a home for that cat who needs one. It is not about trading favors, it’s about knowing people. If you know people and have an email address, you too can network!
Seriously, people. I was a born networker. When someone asks me if I know someone who does something, know of an open apartment, a certain item for sale, or a place to rehome a cat/dog/ferret/chinchilla, the first thing I do is start going through my mental rolodex and wonder, who can I contact?
Apparently this is not normal behavior. Or, at least, for most people this is behavior that needs to be taught. I will be forever baffled when I send out announcements about concerts, animals that need adoption/rehoming/fostering, a charity drive of one kind or another, a need for volunteers, or someone looking for a job and I get an immediate response which is, “I don’t know why you sent this to me” or “Thanks but no thanks” or “I’m too busy” etc ad infinitum.
I get it, I didn’t explicitly spell it out, but I always say that if you know someone who might be interested/can help/etc to please pass along the email or link. Always. In case you missed it, this is how stuff gets done on the internet. When I get emails of a similar nature I either try to respond with, “I can’t help you but here’s what I know about X” or I send it along to people or organizations that might be able to help.
The next time you get an email, a legit email about something like a need for volunteers (not something from a Nigerian Prince), think about what you can do. Can you send it to someone who might be interested? Think of it as an opportunity, not an obligation. You might just strengthen an already existing friendship, forge a new relationship, or find a home for that ferret that needs one.
Whatever you do, think about it before you just hit reply and respond that you’re too busy. Someday you might be the person sending the email in search of a job or an apartment and then what?