How Do You Get Your Network to Blossom?
You’ve just begun your professional experience, fresh out of college. You’re starting a career in a new environment, meeting your colleagues and learning names. Picking up your company process, getting into a daily routine. You may be a Recruiter, an Engineer, Developer, Teacher, you name it. I can promise you regardless of your job title, you have heard this saying, and will continue to hear it throughout the rest of your working life… “Your network, is your net worth.”
Hopefully, the skill of networking was impressed upon you in college by your nagging professors or somehow worked into your curriculum by mandatory course internships. But, how do we continue to foster these relationships and more importantly, how do we form new strong relationships in the professional world?
EXPOSURE. Expose yourself! Seriously. You will not meet anyone, or form new relationships if you are interacting with the same individuals on a daily basis. Put yourself out there – Alumni get-togethers, happy hours with old companies, networking events, conferences in the area, etc. Not only could this potentially lead to a new position for yourself down the road or develop new business opportunities within your current company, but it forms lasting friendships and growth for yourself professionally! You can learn to get out of your comfort zone, mix up your daily routine, and really challenge yourself.
SCHEDULE. A great tip from a successful business owner, Lori Reed (Owner of Schechter-Reed, LLC), make time each day or each week to reach out to individuals. It can be as simple as, “I hope all is well and I just wanted to check in on how everything is going with your company.” Or “Congratulations on your promotion!” If you’d like to go one step further, schedule lunch, coffee, or happy hour. Taking time out of your day speaks volumes about you as a person.
CONSISTENCY. This is what it’s all about! If we maintain the ability to be good communicators with our network and check in with those who we’ve connected with/worked with, we can be successful. It is crucial NOT to reach out to your network solely when you need something. Check in with them when you can, be engaged, be involved with their current career. See how they are enjoying things, but not just when you need a referral. If you care about your network, they will care about you.
Take time to get to know your network and they will get to know you. Networking is a two-way street. The more time and effort you put in, the more you get out.
Emma Sieber is an Internal Recruiter at NSS RPO, a consulting firm that provides on-site and virtual recruiting professionals. Contact NSS RPO to learn about how we can help your organization meet and exceed it’s hiring goals.