“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” Jim Rohn
As the author of “Rock Your Network®,” I’m often asked about how to network, how to network while working (aka no time to network), and who should be in your network.
Where do you begin? Begin with your career goals.
Are you looking for a promotion? New business? More clients? Colleagues and peers to brainstorm ideas?
Knowing your goals will help you determine who needs to be in your network. And who you may need to prune. There are now five generations in the workplace with the arrival of Generation Z. Therefore, it’s good to diversify your network across generations for lasting career management.
When one of my clients was in the market for a new gig, he tapped his college alumni – those who graduated 10 years ahead of him and those who graduated 10 years after him. This led to several opportunities. And, after he landed his new gig, he maintained those connections throughout his career, rising to his current role: vice president of business development.
Your networking criteria will help you save time because you’ll focus on only those areas relevant to your goals. And you can use your networking criteria online or off. For example, I list my personal criteria for connecting on LinkedIn in my profile under “Advice for contacting Wendy.” In my case, I accept invitations from people I know, met personally or know through another connection I respect.
As your career evolves over time,. your networking criteria evolves with it.
Be sure to nurture your network by regularly communicating with people, providing resources and assistance when they need it. Networking is a two-way street. You’ve got to fuel your network to fire it up!
Coaching Challenge: Write down your own criteria for adding people to your online and offline networks based on your career goals.
Need help with your networking efforts? Check out my networking programs here, including LinkedIn networking.
© 1998 – 2016 Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.