Start Networking – Before You Really Need To!
Guest Blog by Bill Fitzgerald, ExecCareers DC, Associate Member of Maryland Nonprofits
Bill is an accomplished entrepreneur, investor and executive search professional with over 25 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies and small to medium-sized businesses. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn.
Read the original blog here.
Networking is not something you start when you decide it’s time to look for a new job. How many times have you heard that advice! Regular networking is like physical fitness. If you think about your career as an athletic endeavor, it’s easier to run a mile when you’ve been practicing and staying in shape.
This is why, “take a call, make a call” is very important. The general idea here is to make one networking call each week and to take one call each week. And, if you can extend this idea to actually meeting face to face with someone, even better! We’ve become so accustomed to doing everything electronically we’ve forgotten how powerful it can be when you actually meet with someone.
It’s very easy for busy executives to lose contact with professional friends and colleagues. And yet, when it comes time to look for a new opportunity, these are the most important relationships in your professional network. It is so easy to take them for granted and lose touch. You can’t expect them to have your back when you don’t maintain regular contact. This is one reason why “take a call, make a call” is so vital to your career.
“Take a call, make a call” will also help you maintain your intellectual edge and expand your level of expertise. It is difficult to discover new insights or to generate breakthrough ideas sitting behind your desk. While you are busy making sure the trains run on time and under budget, it is easy to get out of touch with new ideas, approaches and technology in your industry or discipline.
Like anything that really matters, networking takes time and effort. The time you spend networking will pay big dividends now and in the future. So, make “take a call, make a call” part of your weekly routine and you’ll be ready to run that mile the moment the gun sounds.