5 Fast Tips for... building your network.

for building your network!
Networking. Everyone is doing it. Or telling you that you should do it. "It's not what you know but who you know that's important," they say.

And they're right. A network of people that you can rely on is vital to the development, success and sustainability of your career.

What often doesn't get discussed is how to establish a group of contacts - a network - where you can build mutually beneficial business-related relationships.

A network is important to draw on when times are tough, share ideas and to learn new stuff and seek guidance from. If you don't have a network that you have invested time in to build relationships you are only making things more difficult than they need to be for yourself.

People who are highly successful in their careers have far-reaching networks.

The question is who should be in your network?  How do you identify people to invest your valuable time with? Where do you start?

Here's this weeks 'Five Fast Tips' which are for building your network.

You can start by identifing people who:

1. You respect and trust - this can include colleagues you work with and high performers in your field. Stay in touch with these people if they (or you) move on to a new role.

2. Have supported you in the past - previous managers or even university lecturers and tutors are great to get back in touch with. Sites like Linked In help you find old contacts and get back in touch with them. Don't just send them a connection invitation. Send an email and ask how they are and what they are doing.

3. Are skilled in areas you need to learn - for example if you need up-to-the-minute knowledge in your field or a contact who is a whiz with technology ask friends and colleagues for a recommendation and introduction.

4. Have common interests - regular participation in formal (or informal) networking and industry events will allow you to have shared experiences with others who participate. Identify people who impress you in these forums and get to know them better. 

5. You Like - if you are going to spend time with these people it's important that you like and respect them and enjoy the contact you have. You will be much more receptive to feedback, ideas and suggestions if you have genuine engagement with others.

After all, it's your network so you might as well enjoy it!

So before you get back to whatever you were doing before you started reading this blog - think of one person you'd like to catch up with and call them, send them a text or an email and book in a coffee.

Building your network can start now.

Happy Tuesday

- Karen

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