I received the following email from a friend who has had a successful career as a business consultant and now works for a very cool tech company. She was seeking my advice on a networking and "helping another person" situation, and I felt the need to share this one here on my blog. With her permission.. here it is:
There is a man on the periphery of our social circle who is looking for a new job. In my estimation he is a taker. I have given him referrals during his previous job search and my husband has counseled him as well. We have never received anything in return from him or his family.
He emailed me asking to get together to pick my brain on consulting. I offered to meet him for coffee near my office, which is an hour from where we both live. I see this as the equivalent of your 6am offer strategy and also the best time for me to give him my attention. He responded to my email today suggesting we chat by phone instead as driving an hour each way for coffee is inconvenient for him. Frankly, as a working parent of three, any time I give him is inconvenient.
However, I feel sorry for him as I have heard from mutual friends that he and his family are in a tough spot financially.
I welcome your advise.