Though you might not cause as much of a commotion as the office gossip, knowing the latest inside information in your industry can make you a valuable person. Taking the time to share information within and among companies can, in turn, uncover valuable information or even lead to a job offer. Turning to brokering information as your profession can lead you into a legal gray area, but sharing information in the course of your job helps build a strong professional network.
Share interesting information as a way to start a conversation with both old colleagues and new contacts. It may be difficult to simply call up a hiring manager to make your case for a job, but she will certainly be interested in talking to you if you have valuable information -- such as industry analysis or a an inside tip on a good job candidate.
Avoid asking for a favor or a job offer as part of sharing the information. You may be desperately searching for a job, but avoid mentioning that you are currently unemployed. Your sharing should not be seen as simply an end-around for the job offer.
Talk to friends in many industries regularly to keep your information fresh. Your information is not valuable if it is outdated or already widely known. A strong professional network keeps you informed and other offers flowing in. You will need to take the initiative at first, but eventually people will come to you when they need to know the latest.
Exercise caution when sharing private or proprietary information, as this may be illegal or a breach of your employment contract. It's one thing to share results of an industry analysis; it's completely different to share a new product design or trade secret.
Keep a journal or use networking management software to help you to manage both your information and your network. Aside from being embarrassing, getting information wrong can ruin contacts or your reputation.
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