One of the recession’s harshest lessons is just how fragile a job can be. A related lesson is the importance of continuous networking. Forbes.com recently presented a handful of networking essentials, including:
- Be more interested in others than you are in yourself. Learning to ask good questions and take a genuine interest in others will set you apart.
- Focus on collecting other people’s business cards more than handing out your cards. Then get in the habit of jotting a reminder of what you talked about on the back of each person’s card and send personalized follow-up notes.
- Join clubs or other organizations you are genuinely interested in. You’re more likely to make good contacts through your involvement in activities you actually care about than by joining groups for the sole purpose of networking.
I’m increasingly aware that the best opportunities come about through authentic relationships, not the self-serving tactics some people think of when they hear the word “networking.” For example, it was a chain of relationships that enabled me to fulfill a long-held dream of becoming a published author. That chain started with a business relationship that turned into a friendship.
What have you done over the past month to expand your network or deepen your relationships with those who are in your network?