You may have already witnessed the results of networking. People with strong connections often get the inside scoop on industry information, good deals, and sometimes, the good jobs. Making connections and nurturing these relationships over time is important. Solid established networks have catapulted many careers and businesses.
Unfortunately, for many of us, networking does not make our daily list of to-do things. It becomes an afterthought as we seek to clear up other tasks on our busy schedules. Whether you are doing it intentionally or not, keeping networking on the back burner could be hampering your attempts to move forward in your industry. You need to make connections, nurture and maintain the relationship for positive results.
Make the time
If you believe that networking is important for your career, then you will make time for it in the same way you find time for other important things. Even if it’s just an hour, you will find that once you make the time and commit to it, good results happen.
It helps to have objectives for networking. Are you doing it to make new connections, or to nurture already existing ones? Figure out an objective for networking, so your efforts aren’t wasted.
Put networking on your schedule. It’s not enough to simply say “I’ll make time for networking today.” Pencil it in your schedule and honor the commitment. Once you start doing it on a consistent basis, it becomes a value-adding task to your career.
Have a plan
One of the common mistakes people do when it comes to networking, busy or not, is not having a plan. [tweet this]
A plan is more than just objectives; it includes the venues and events where you can network easily, as well as an idea of the potential connections you will meet at these events. There’s no substitute for preparation, even when it comes to networking. Make it a point to know whom you want to meet, where, and at what time.
Schedule it in
A networking appointment is just as important as any meeting with a customer or supervisor. Often, someone in your network will become your customer or supervisor or influence someone who is your customer or supervisor.
It’s a struggle to find the time to meet with everyone one on one. Here’s where planning can make a remarkable difference in your performance.
Look for an upcoming event that many of the people that you would like to network and connect with will be at and plan to be at that event. Yet, do not just plan to meet with those who are already planning to be there. Invite some people that you need to reconnect with who would benefit from being at the networking event and seek them out to provide a personal invite.
Utilizing and maximizing your strengths is an important skillset that will serve you well in any career.
Here are some other ways for you to assess and maximize your own personal brand strengths in this week’s articles:
- Handshake to Set Yourself Apart by Debra Benton
- Workplace Meetings: A Magical Strategy for Greater Attendee Participation by Skip Weisman
- What’s Wrong With Your Image? by Nance Rosen
- 20 Most Asked Interview Questions by Ceren Cubukcu
- How to Create Better Content for Your Personal Brand by Heather Huhman
- The Interview Process Needs to Be Understood by Alex Freund
- Strategies to Increase Need for Services by Elinor Stutz
- From Blah to Bold: How to Make Your Resume Stand Out by Chamber of Commerce
- Can You Have the Career of Your Dreams? by Richard Kirby
- 7 Things to Maximize Your Return on Networking Events by Maria Elena Duron
- Using Hindsight to Build Foresight by Jeff Shuey
- Understanding the Hiring Manager Prior to the Interview by Marc Miller
- Branding Mistakes to Avoid by Leslie Truex
- Achieve Success: Cut Toxic People Out! by Beth Kuhel
- How Millennials Can Become Millionaires by Ken Sundheim
- The Purple Cow Job Description – Should I Apply? by Marc Miller