Maintain Your Network
Networking is about starting a conversation to build a long-term, professional relationship.
Networking isn't one-sided. This means you need to listen and learn about the other person. Think about your mutual interests and the ways you can support them while they help you. As with any friendship, respect their limits on the amount and type of interaction.
Ways to Support Your Contacts
- Take notes during your conversations. Follow up by e-mail, telephone, mail, or text message.
- Send them an article about something you know is important to them.
- Show an interest in their personal life. Remember the names and interests of people important to them.
- Come up with a solution to a problem they shared with you. For example, someone you know used an effective service provider or vendor to solve a work issue.
- Stay in contact with people from your past.
- Include them in holiday greetings.
- Let them know you are searching for a job. Tell them what is working and in which specific areas you could use help.
- Update them on those things where you share a common interest.
- Let your contacts know that you appreciate the time they spend with you as well as their knowledge and opinion.
- If someone has been especially helpful to you, offer to take them out for coffee or a meal on your dime.
- Once you get a job, thank everyone who was helpful to you. Give them your new contact information.
- Don't lose touch! Networking is not just about getting a job. It's about ongoing career development and support.