Did you stop networking once you landed that new job? Most of the clients I’ve worked with over the years answer ‘Yes’ to that question. Even though Networking is the most important aspect of the job search, it’s the first thing people stop doing once they successfully land a new job. Big mistake! You see, keeping your network active and growing is critical to your career. Yes, it’s important to the job search, but it’s also a powerful tool in your career advancement. Whether you are seeking a new job in another company or wanting to advance in your current employer, networking is the most direct path to get you there.
While qualifications, alone, should ‘get’ you a new job or a promotion, we all know that familiarity is a more powerful tool for that goal. People like to work with people they know and like. Few of us like to ask for help, and even fewer like to have someone we’ve not spoken to in a long time suddenly reach out for help. So, it’s important to keep relationships fresh. And I get it, you’re busy. You have a job that takes up most of your week and, if you’re lucky, you have a family or personal obligations. You don’t want to use the precious little time you have to ‘network’. Well, I like to use a more holistic approach to networking, and 30 years of building and maintaining relationships has given me this insight. I have moved from one coast to the other 4 times since 1983, and yet I have strong relationships with people everywhere I’ve lived and worked. On any given day, I might chat with a former colleague in England, New York, Washington, DC or Seattle. My friendships and connections are everything to me. The people that have entered my life are wonderful and supportive and inspiring. Why would I want to let those relationships go cold? Now you might be thinking, “Andrea must spend all day online and on the phone”. Well, I don’t. Here’s what I do and how I’ve maintained strong connections, and yes friendships, across the miles and years.
All of this helps make ‘networking’ something other than a dirty word. It just becomes a way of life. When it’s time for an ‘ask’, it will be so much easier because you’ll have been engaged with people. It’s less ‘networking’ and more just staying in touch. And don’t forget that you can help others too. Don’t make this a one-way street.
What questions do you have about networking? Drop them in the comments. I’ll share my thoughts.
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Andrea's passion is to see you achieve your professional dreams. Whether you are a corporate leader seeking leadership development for your employees or an individual seeking guidance in building your career or preparing for retirement, she will coach you to success.