I spend a lot of my professional time giving out advice about networking. I frequently talk to experienced lawyers about using networking as a business development tool. Every day, I coach lawyers about using networking to uncover hidden job opportunities and interim assignments. I write articles giving practical tips to lawyers and other professionals who want to improve their networking skills.

But I also continue to be a student of the subject. In my view, it is easy to learn the basics about networking; but networking is a subtle and difficult skill to master.
10 ways to reciprocate in networking

While my networking skills have grown considerably over time (like most of the readers of this publication, I knew little or nothing about networking when I finished law school), there is still one tenet of good networking that continues to challenge me: finding ways to keep networking reciprocal.

In "Networking 101," you learn that it is important to find ways to help the individuals who take the time to meet with you. Networking is not supposed to be a one-way flow of help from the networkee (who has contacts, leads and information) to you, the networker. Networking should be a symbiotic activity.