By Shannon Courtney
While you work hard building and developing your professional network, how do you ensure they develop into long-lasting and resourceful relationships? One of the best ways is to focus on building a network of professionals in areas that are interesting to you and a passion to help you really elevate your career.
The YLAI Network offers key tips to help emerging entrepreneurs and young leaders sustain their professional network and make them beneficial for both parties.
Why would you want to work on maintaining your network?
A professional network is alive and “requires time and attention to stay healthy and relevant.” Making efforts to actively maintain these connections will result in a more meaningful relationship. Calling on your contacts merely when you need their assistance is insufficient and transactional; you must also consider how you can assist them.
Share resources with your contacts
- When something comes to mind, such as an article, event, or job opportunity your contacts might be interested in, get in touch with the ones you know are already passionate or involved in these projects. Simple acts like these illustrate your consideration and resourcefulness for others; you want others to succeed as much as yourself.
Establish beneficial introductions within your network
- If you know certain people who have similar interests or goals within your professional network, connect them through email, telephone, or social media. Mention each person’s name, your relationship with them, and any potential mutual advantages of the connection.
Reach out in advance of new professional opportunities
- Whether looking for a new job or expanding your entrepreneurial ventures with other businesses, reach out to your professional network. If you are looking for a new job, it’s appropriate to contact members of your professional network to help you and guide you in the right direction. You can ask your network for job or business leads, pertinent contacts for informational interviews, or general professional guidance. Remember: Keep your connections up to date on your progress, and never forget to thank them for their help and assistance.
It is crucial to keep up to date with those in your professional community. Always thank those in your network for their time and willingness to be a resource in your professional development. Success in every networking relationship depends on sincerity and transparency.