October 16, 2013
Networking doesn’t just happen. You need to schedule yourself by setting aside time each week to expand and strengthen your network. By setting aside an hour or two each week, you guarantee that your efforts won’t occur in fits and starts. Here are three quick tips:
- Decide that every week – Fridays perhaps – you will schedule a lunch or happy hour meeting with a former classmate, work colleague, client prospect, or friend.
- Avoid “9-1-1” networking. No one enjoys being pumped for information or called upon in a crisis. By scheduling regular time each week to tend your network, you will develop a balanced give and take, establish trust, and avoid the reputation of being a “taker” who only calls upon friends during an emergency.
- If you cannot find time each week to network, consider this creative solution from Diane K. Danielson, CEO of DowntownWomensClub.com and co-author of Table Talk: The Savvy Girl’s Alternative to Networking (2003): Engage in “guerilla networking” by going out several nights in succession and then engaging in follow-up activities for the next two or three months. Some people prefer to immerse themselves in a series of focused networking meetings, lunches, dinners, and cocktail events rather than setting aside time every week.