Do we need to invest time to build our network?
This is the most underrated question, that we never ask ourselves when everything is good. If you are reading this blog post, ask yourself this simple question.
When was the last time did I meet or interact with someone outside of work or personal circle?
When was the last time did I spoke with someone from my previous work place?
If we answered “No” to the above questions, then it is time for us to think about it. For starters investing time in networking is as good as turning those above questions with answers on a weekly basis or bi-weekly basis. Recently I had my mentorship session with my mentor Doug McCollough and trust this was a genuine experience which he shared me -
“Most of my leads for leadership positions in Columbus, Ohio have been suggested to me by my professional network”.
Whether we are on job hunt or not on job hunt, expanding our professional network will help and give us great rewards. We generally try to update our resumes only when we are either looking for a new role or if we already lost our job. We generally try to update our LinkedIn profiles only when we are active in job search. So in those situations of dire need, it might sound very transactional when we reach out to our professional network, with whom we have not interacted for a long time. A good network is built when we do not consider our network only for transactional purpose.
if the idea of “networking” makes you squeamish, try reframing it: “I would like to meet more people who do the kinds of activities I’m interested in & be friends with them” — growing your network doesn’t need to be (and I’d argue definitely shouldn’t be) formal & transactional https://t.co/V9X2zinMgV— Jason Lengstorf ⚡️ (@jlengstorf) January 26, 2022
Don’t wait for the rainy day to improve your network.
This means build your network NOW before you need it, because you never know when you'll need it https://t.co/Ehe916b1h7— Hilary aka H-Bomb (@g33klady) January 24, 2022
Some awesome tips on improving your network here by Shawn Charles.
#NetworkingTips— Shawn Charles🎤🔥 (@ShawnBasquiat) February 2, 2022
1.🤝Don’t Apply to 100 Jobs - Make 100 Friends
2.🗣Join Events - Join Communities - Join Spaces
Leon’s preaching from the #NetworkingBible 🔥
Don’t drop the Bag💰
How do YOU Excel at Networking?#100Devs 🧵 https://t.co/ejzWRGQzMU pic.twitter.com/mMrzQtuWIZ
It is always important to do intentional networking. Whether we need it now or not improving our networking game on a daily basis even before the rainy days will help us a lot.
Do intentional networking now to seek help in future or even to offer help in future.— BaskarRao 3x💉😷 (@baskarmib) January 20, 2022
From my personal experience, these are things which have worked for me in building my professional network.
There is no single formula to build a network. Our aspirations change and hence the process which we can use to build a network also changes. But these were some steps which I have followed in improving my network the last 5 years.
Treat your network as an investment plan. Every financial guru will preach us to start to invest early in order to get good returns.
The same logic can be used to build our network. Starting early while attending college or even while attending boot camp really helps in expanding our reach when we finish those programs. Building genuine connections is more important rather than using someone’s time. If we have really got benefits from a connection, it is always important to thank them on how they were helpful.
This is the least we can do for those who has invested on us by offering their perspectives and suggestions or even helping us by opening the gates.
If you have benefited from an early networking then pass on the benefits to future aspirants by helping them. The first step in improving your network is to build your social profile on LinkedIn or Twitter based on your preference.
Build your network based on your aspirations and dreams and don’t wait for the rainy day to start networking.