One of the first questions I ask prospective clients who are in an executive job search or contemplating one is “Have you been in touch with your network?”
I’m constantly astounded by how many of them tell me they haven’t kept up at all with their networks. These are top-level executives who fully understand the value of a vibrant network and have succeeded because of their network. Once they snagged their latest jobs, they neglected to stay connected.
By continuously revitalizing and cultivating your network, you can position yourself for a great new job opportunity before you even need it. If you keep the buzz going about yourself, you’ll be top-of-mind with people who either are decision-makers or can lead you to them.
Chris Brogan talked about the importance of networking on his blog yesterday. He asked us to think about this:
“If you lose your job today, how many people can you reach, and who would be helpful? Think harder about the names of those people. Have you talked with them lately in ANY form?”
Chris offers some best-practices to keep your network alive and make new connections. These are really helpful suggestions (and mostly not too time-consuming) to incorporate into your routine. I can add that Jibber Jobber is a great tool to help you organize and manage all your connections. Basic membership is free.
I’ve been guilty of letting my own network slip. We all get busy and networking and self-marketing are pushed to the bottom of priorities.
When I dive back into purposefully networking and cultivating new relationships, I always see the benefits right away. Whether it’s forming a new alliance with another career professional, meeting someone who teaches me something important, or mentoring a new resume writer, making connections is energizing.
Networking has helped me move my business in exciting directions I never would have considered even a few months ago and led me to people who have had a profound impact on me and my business.