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Networking tips 8.10.7

Article on the intranet at work, but a little dated.

The Art of Networking

Creating a Strong Network:
Set goals for yourself. "I will add 5 new contacts to my network every
month" is an example of a networking goal.
Grow your network. Use referrals from existing network members, as well
as your affiliations with professional and community-based organizations.
Don't be hasty and dismiss non-business contacts. Your most valuable
network member could ride the train with you, live in your neighborhood or
building, or work out at your gym.
Diversify your network. Consider both depth and breadth when building
your network. Consciously include a variety of people types and expertise
so that you gain the most from different perspectives and different
approaches. Include people both inside and outside your area of interest.
The greater the coverage and the more dimensions to your network, the
stronger your network will be.
Organize your network. Create a database or spreadsheet of names,
titles, phone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses, and dates of
communication. Organized business cards with notes are another
Prepare a strong introduction. Have a two-minute "sales pitch" that
explains who you are and what you are looking for (see "How to Market
Yourself" guide).
Communicate with your network. Stay in touch with members of your
network, by phone, mail, or email. Most people like helping others.
Communicate your current needs so they can.
Know what you want from every encounter. Some worthy outcomes of
networking include:
Learning about job opportunities.
Keeping current with trends and personalities in your field.
Increasing your base of contacts so that you have a greater search
reach. (The more people who know who you are, know what you do,
and what you want to do, the more likely you are to connect with
interested decision-makers.)
Learning about the problems and needs in departments, therefore
improving your target market effectiveness.
Initiate informational interviews. Talk with people who are currently
working in positions in which you are interested. Arrange face-to-face
meetings whenever possible.
Make sure the relationship has mutual benefit. Give others the opportunity
to share their career passions, offer any information, help and insight you
can in return.
Leverage all your networks. Be careful not to limit yourself to just one type
of network and stay away from "in-breeding" (where all members of your
network know each other). Consider how you can leverage the members
of your network by also learning who they know and what networks they
might be connected to.
Take the suggested action steps. If you do not pursue a specific
suggestion, let your contact know since they may have already made a
call on your behalf.
Follow up with your network. Keep your network informed of your situation
and thank them for their efforts. A thank you letter is appropriate.

Using Your Network Effectively:
Let the person know how you received the person's name, why you would
like to speak to him or her, and that you would like to arrange a meeting
Request a short amount of time - no more than 20 minutes. Ask if the
contact would like a copy of your resume before your meeting for
background information only.
Ask for information, not a job. If you make a good impression, the contact
will let you know of any openings.
Be politely persistent. There are many reasons why a person will be
unavailable on the first or second try.
Try to obtain several referrals from each person you contact.

What's holding you back? Here are some common networking fears.
"I don't know what to say on the phone." Develop and rehearse a script for
that initial contact.
"I don't feel comfortable asking others for help." There are many people
out there willing to assist you - who may even enjoy the opportunity to
"I have nothing to offer in return." You know other people in your network
that can help your contact. You never know what they may be looking for.
"I don't know where to start".