Last December, I decided to read one new book every month. We are in March and I have read 5 books already, instead of the expected 3. Today I was reading “120 Jobs That Won’t Chain You To Your Desk” by The Princeton Review and I came across a very good list of step we can take to improve the quality of our business networks.
Below is the list of my favorite action steps:
- Put yourself out there. Get involved in at least one high-profile professional or community organization. Look for groups with whom you share a common background, trait, or career goal. A good place to find such groups is www.meetup.com
- Keep in touch. Be that person who calls, e-mails, or checks in with people you know once in a while for a quick “Hi, how are things?”. No one appreciates the networking wannabe who only gets in touch when they need a favor or some insider information.
- Don’t be afraid of the phone. When you call, always ask someone “Do you have a moment?” or “Have I caught you at a good time?” Keep it brief during business hours and stay on topic.
- Put other people together when it is mutually beneficial to them. Helping other people connect over a common interest or need increases your network and boosts your reputation.
- Family, friends, and everyone else. Don’t be afraid to use every connection you have. Networking is no longer just accepted, it is expected. If you know, for example, that you’re capable of doing a certain job, there’s no harm in making a call to someone you know at the company and using your connection to get your resume in front of the right person.
The original list in the book contains over 10 items. As I specified earlier, the above are just my favorite and the ones I think are most important.