If you were gainfully employed in the 1990s through 2 years ago, chances are you built up a fine network for yourself while achieving great success.

But now that the recession is here, would you be able to call upon your network for help? Do you feel deserted?  If that’s the case, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at why.

1.  Were you nice to your co-workers or did you bully them?
2.  Were you willing to share your knowledge or did you keep your cards close to your vest?
3.  Did you complain about people behind their back, or the company you worked for?
4.  Did you give credit where credit was due?
5.  Did you cause problems at the office?

Whatever the case, if your phone isn’t ringing off the hook for job interviews, you need a network and you need one fast if you’re going to survive in this economy.

First I would examine what you did in your past that might cause your network to flee. If you honestly don’t know, maybe it’s time you asked. Approach a former co-worker or supervisor and ask them to be candid about what you were like to work with. Acknowledge and thank them in writing for their point of view.

Forgive yourself. We all do stupid things. From there you can either reapproach former co-workers  and ask forgiveness, or start fresh with a new network. With this group you can try out what you learned from your past “teachable moments” and do all you can to help others be successful.