05 December 2012
If you’re like me, you’re often tempted to put your network relationships on the back burner. However, maintaining your network is critical to finding that job you want or getting an introduction to the person who has your dream job. To help you out, here’s a list of some simple things you can do to build up your relationships after a networking event: Go to networking events in your industry. Make sure to catch up with the people you do know, and introduce yourself to people you don’t. You never know who you’ll meet. Exchange business cards at the actual event, and then send a thank you card or email within 24 hours. Let the person know that you enjoyed speaking with them, and would love to stay in touch. Here’s the hard part: actively stay in touch. Link an article that you think they might find interesting. Shoot them an insightful question about the industry. You have to give, in order to get. Networking isn’t about what someone can do for you—it’s about what you can do for others. Helping someone out by passing along a speaking opportunity, or setting up a lunch date between contacts with mutual interests will go a long way in building a rewarding experience. The most important thing to remember about networking is that while it may feel awkward at first, you’re building relationships that will strengthen your career in the long run. With these tips in mind, don’t be intimidated when you attend that next networking event; just smile and introduce yourself!