Friends to the List
Because networking is so
valuable, people often attend events for this specific reason. Attending networking
events relevant to your goals and career and being active in professional organizations
are two great ways to find people to add to your list of professional contacts. When
you meet someone you would like to keep in contact with, trade business cards so you will
be able to remember their name and will have their contact information. Remember to follow
up within a week of meeting them, just to say hi. You're more likely to be
remembered by them later on if you do.
Give Updates and Touch Base
If you want your network to be there for you, make sure you
touch base from time to time, not just when you need help. This can be a simple
e-mail from time to time or a forwarded joke or article that made you think of them.
When someone in your network helps you out by offering a suggestion, making an
introduction, or in any other way, make sure you give thanks promptly and generously whether
the lead turned out or not. People are more likely to help you when they know their
efforts are truly appreciated.
Networks Get Jobs
The larger and more loyal your personal network is, the
better your chances are of attaining your career
goals. Having a strong network is like having your own personal sales force that
has access to information an opportunities you alone do not. Set aside some time each week
to further develop your contact base and to check in with the existing members of your
personal network, and you will be able increase your effectiveness tenfold.
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