Career Calling

January 3, 2014

Networking in the New Year

Last month I recommended using holiday parties and family gatherings as a time to light the fires for networking.  Now is the time to follow up.  Make a list of the people you’ve met over the past few weeks who could help you advance in your career or find a new job.  Set up a time to meet them for lunch or coffee.

At the meeting, don’t make it all about you.  First let your network contacts know that you appreciate their friendship and support.  Then let them know what your current goal is and ask for their advice: “Based on your knowledge of my career, what do you think I should do?”  Listen to what they say and take notes.  Ask follow up questions on any point that is not clear or needs more information.  If a contact says you should look at a certain company, find out why she thinks that company is right for you.  Ask if she knows anyone at that company.  If she does, ask if she will make an introduction or if you can use her name in a cover letter.  Most importantly, never let a networking meeting end without finding out how your contacts are doing and if there is any way you can help them.

Networking is always a two way street.  Look for ways to help others, and they will remember you and want to return favors.  Start your New Year on the right foot – Get your network humming.

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