In this article, you'll learn how to...
- Define your networking strategy
- Organize and connect with your contacts
- Maximize social networking to increase quality contacts
The holiday season is ideal for reconnecting, making new contacts, and strengthening relationships (i.e., for marketing you!).
Networking is the best job-search method and generates more than 80% of new hires. Constantly nurturing your relationships and strategically developing new contacts puts you on the inside track to plum job leads, whether you are an active candidate or just want to keep up with the market.
All jobs are temporary. Your network is lifetime career insurance. Contacts provide referrals, recommendations, and invitations. Make time every day to Network Purposefully. The "right contacts" are relationships with those who make hiring decisions and those who are good connectors.
In just 12 days (before or after Christmas), you can start building your career nest egg.
On the first day... Define your networking strategy. Focus on people and activities related directly to helping you achieve your personal and professional goals. Compile a list of current contacts, and research targeted new contacts among thought leaders, authors, friends of friends, industry consultants, speakers, etc. Determine who needs to know you.
On the second day... Organize contacts into action groups. For example, you can categorize them as follows: Meet in person or via telephone, Send an individual email or a note via the post office, Share a link or article, Send a gift, Connect two contacts, Invite to a live event, Recommend a virtual event or group discussion, Submit a proposal for a presentation, etc. Develop your marketing plan.
On the third day... Select and prioritize groups and virtual communities to join. Identify a few groups or organizations on which to focus your efforts. Better to be an active participant or leader in a few groups and build strong relationships.
Get involved. Schedule virtual networking into your daily calendar. Join LinkedIn groups in your industry, or for your specialty or a new field you want to enter. Participate in discussions among trade-association members and within other affinity groups. Cultivate new connections.