Thursday, February 24, 2011

Making Time for Networking

I just sent messages to five of the 383 people I am connected to on LinkedIn. The gist of the nearly identical messages was "how are you doing?" I have made a commitment to myself to reach out to most of my connections over the next several weeks. Why? Just to stay in touch.

Nurturing our professional networks usually does not get the effort it deserves. We all lead busy lives. We often don't think about networking unless we have a specific need - a job, a consulting assignment, and introduction. That's too late. The payoff in specific benefits won't be there unless we have made the investment in the relationship over time. It really makes a difference if we have been helpful to the other party in the past. We are more willing to be generous with our time and professional capital for someone who has been generous to us.

Try to put aside some time each day or week to build and maintain relationships with colleagues - past, present and future. An hour's investment may produce amazing dividends.

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