All this week I'm sharing my top tips for building your professional relationships. You know it's a good idea, but where do you start?
Are you looking for a new job, preparing for a potential lay-off scenario, wanting to reconnect with old colleagues, or manifesting your professional vision? It's worth being clear about your intent is in building your professional network before you start out the door.
So, before you start dialing or typing, write down for yourself what your goals are for building your professional relationships. What will be different for you with a larger or stronger network? As the adage goes, start with the end in mind. Your goals will be a reference point for you throughout the process.
Tip #2: Start with who you already know.
It may seem basic, but start with making a list of your existing connections. Whether you are looking to break into a new field, revitalize your passion, or initiate a new initiative, start with the folks in your world who already know, like, and respect you.
This means considering: who's been your cheerleader, your greatest supporters, your personal board of directors? Make a list of them. Here's where LinkedIn and some of the other social networking sites can come in. You might have 2 or 22 or 222 people on this list: regardless of the numbers, you start from where ever you are.
These are going to be your "warm" calls — the folks who you already have an "in" with. These should be the first and easy contacts that you'll make.
Come back tomorrow for tips on expanding your network and making initial contact!