Ideas to Jump Start Your Network

Share an interest with a member of your network.
Do you share interests with members of your network?  The best way to create synergy and building your internal and external network.  By creating genuine shared interest the relationship becomes more relaxed and deeper in its connection.  Amanda Haddaway, author of Destination Real World: Success After Graduation says  “Doing activities together outside of the office can be a great stress reducer and can help you solidify your networking relationship with the other person.”

Happy Hour Effectiveness
Whether you share waters and a veggie platter or beers and burgers, happy hour experiences can make for a more cordial atmosphere. This is a great opportunity to get to know network connections in a relaxed environment.  This is also a great environment to start to build effective triads by introducing network members to one another and increasing the effectiveness of building values.  I call this the “Power of 3”.

Go back to school.
Whether it’s a career-related class, something that interests you personally, or a public speaking course like Toastmasters, additional education is always going to benefit your career, says Taylor. Some classes may teach you information you’ll use in your daily work life, while others may just get your creativity going and inspire you to bring better ideas to your network.  You will be amazed at how many new members of your network you can create by attending industry education.  Take the time to learn what your network needs in the way of education and attend these classes and follow up with them to share learned practices from the classes.

Become an insider in your industry.
Networking when you don’t need anything is the best time to do it. “You should always be positioned to leverage your professional and personal contacts when the need arises. So, adopt the discipline of blocking-out time on your calendar specifically for networking activities – every week, every month, and every year,” says Ford Myers, author of Get The Job You Want, Even When Nobody’s Hiring. He also suggests joining and taking on leadership roles in industry-related trade associations. “This will boost your visibility and enhance your credibility in your industry.”   When you become an insider you will find that your existing network will start to come to you for advice and shared knowledge.

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