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Paying it Forward

In this article we discuss the role of 'paying it forward' in the effective development of a professional digital profile.
© University of Southampton 2017

Developing a ‘digital footprint’ which demonstrates our skills, and building an appropriate network of contacts, is not an overnight task. The successful author and speaker Chris Brogan talks about ‘paying it forward’ – meaning we should give before we receive.

Long term benefit comes from focusing on the value we bring to our network, rather than what we take from it to meet an immediate need. In other words, the actions we take to grow our networks, for example by linking to new people, groups or web sites, and to manage our networks, by responding to others, helping, collaborating, liking, reposting or replying, are vital before we can effectively activate the network in order to achieve a task.

For example, don’t connect with someone on LinkedIn just when you need to get a recommendation from them. Focus on sharing useful information with your network and commenting on relevant blog posts on an ongoing basis, so that when you need some help in return, your request is well received and is actioned positively.

Do you have any examples to share, where ‘paying it forward’ has worked well for you?
© University of Southampton 2017
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