If you want to transform your career, you have to network.
I know. You don't need to be reminded of how important networking is. I also know you're avoiding it because it's hard, and awkward, and you can't always see how it pays off.
I felt the same way.
I knew I needed to do something , so I decided to try something simpler. I made one resolution:
Be more connected.
And it transformed more than my year.
It transformed my career.
Connecting made every day a better day, and a day of more opportunities than the one before.
My goal was to connect with 5 people a day - just drop them a line to say hello and give them an update. But I got more than I expected.
The more I connected, the more confident I became.
Soon I found myself connecting with people far outside my original contact list, and becoming more and more comfortable about advocating for myself and making requests.
Everyday, networking became easier as I built a wave of positive momentum.
I went from an awkward, nervous networker to a confident connector, and created more personal and professional opportunities than I imagined possible.
Does the idea of networking make you nervous, but you KNOW you need to try something new?
Here are 12 activities to build your networking momentum
- Reconnect with 1 person per week - someone you haven't spoken to in a while.
- Monthly ask someone to introduce you to a new person.
- Monthly reach out to 1 person that you don't know well and ask them for advice.
- Ask someone to recommend a mentor.
- Quarterly ask someone to recommend a book, TEDTalk or networking event.
- Go up to a person you don't know at a networking event and smile and say, "Hello, how are you enjoying the event?"
Build your reputation as connector and developer
- Share your networking success tips with one other person.
- Recommend a mentor for one of your colleagues.
- Quarterly introduce one of your colleagues to someone they don't know.
Build your reputation as thought leader:
- Get active on LinkedIn. Weekly either post an article that you like, or comment/like someone else's. Get really brave and post original content.
- Recommend a book or TEDTALK to your boss or to someone on the management team.
- Offer to give a short training session on something you're passionate about.
Once you're successful with an activity, the easier it becomes to do it again. Try one a month and see which one works. Pick ones that seem easiest for you and build your confidence.
Then ride the wave.
Give yourself a gift of opportunity.
The more you connect, the more connected you'll become, and the more opportunites you will create for yourself.
Make every day a more connected day and transform your career and beyond.
Looking for some specific tips on networking? Check out these posts:
Check out the The Career Toolbox page for more practical tips and tools.
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