By Anne Kerrigan Miller, Vice President
Networking is something you do everyday, not just when you are looking for a job!
Let’s say you’ve lost your job and are about to start looking for your next opportunity. If you are fortunate enough to be working with a career coach, the first question they will ask you is “how healthy is your network?”
Some define a personal network as a set of contacts known to an individual, with whom that individual would expect to interact at intervals to support a given set of activities. Having a strong personal network requires being connected to a network of resources for mutual development and growth.
Strong networks do not just happen. Personal network management is a crucial aspect of personal information management and can be leveraged through managing links and connections for social and professional benefits. Some ways to do this would be:
- Being authentic and consistent
- Paying attention to status updates
- Following wisely
- Seeking to be worth knowing
- Appropriate tagging
Read “What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School,” one of my favourite business books, published in 1984 and written by Mark McCormack. This book still rings true for how to develop and keep relationships. In 1960, Mark founded IMG (International Management Group) and signed golfer Arnold Palmer as the company’s first client and later signed Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player…think “Jerry Maguire.” Sometimes it is the little things that count:
- Write thank-you notes
- Remember birthdays
- Celebrate promotions
- Offer help when a contact loses their job
- Introduce colleagues
- Share knowledge
My best advice for young people starting out in their careers is to make sure they keep up with their networking and not just on Instagram. Networking is a business imperative not just a nice thing to do. It’s never too late to start. Start with your own department and then go for it and make one new connection every week. You never know when you might need some help from your network.
You will know when you have a strong network when you are sought out as someone worth knowing!