New Year’s Resolution: Never Stop Networking!
Happy New Year! As you think about New Year’s resolutions, be sure to include your career goals. You may be in your ideal job or be looking for a new position. Whatever your situation, challenge yourself to never stop building your professional network. You might say to yourself, “I don’t have time to add another thing to my plate.” Well, there is good news...It does not have to take lots of time! You can spend as little as 10 minutes a week to strengthen your existing network and gain at least one new contact.
Here are some tips on building your network.
- If you do not already have a fully completed LinkedIn profile, create one! If you have a profile, review and update it. LinkedIn is so powerful that you cannot afford to not be on it! While you are doing this, update your resume, too.
- Maintain your existing network. Reach out to at least five people you already know every week. Drop them an email or message them on LinkedIn (or any social media platform) to give them a brief update on what you are doing. Ask them about their jobs, family, life, etc. If you are happy in your job, let them know what aspects energize you. If you are looking for a new job, let them know that. Try to be specific about the type of work you’d like to do and ask if they can connect you with anyone they know in that area.
- Set a goal for the number of new contacts you want to make each month. Or, set a goal to spend 10 minutes each week making a connection with ONE new person using a variety of sources. For example, LinkedIn is a powerful tool that helps in finding connections. You might consider getting involved in a professional networking group, like Lehigh Valley Professionals. Also, use your personal network.
Often people we already know have larger networks than we realize. Tap into them and find out who your network knows and then be specific about who you would like them to introduce you to. For example, you can use LinkedIn to search your network and find people to whom they are connected. Then, simply message your contact and ask for an introduction to those people. Include the reason you want to meet their connection and be conscientious of the relationship and credibility that your contact has with their contact. You are asking for a favor so always be thankful and respectful.
By taking these small steps, you will be surprised by the growth in your network over the course of 2019!
— Melanie Sanchez-Jones, LINC Partner Career Client Manager