Like working out and flossing we all know we should be networking more, but it’s just so easy to put it off. However, networking doesn’t have to mean boring mixers or forced interactions. It can be a very rewarding experience and can be quick and easy to get into the habit of with these simple activities you can do today. Commit to making networking a habit so your network will be ready when you need it. Here are three things that you can start to do now and can build into a long-term routine that you’ll be happy to follow:
Go Out To Lunch Once A Week With Contacts Outside Of Your Office
Lunch is the perfect time to meet with local contacts. Instead of taking lunch at your desk, use the hour to get out there and have a nice conversation with someone in your network. Even if you don’t talk about job-related subjects, simply meeting for an hour will allow you to stay connected, which will pave the way for them looking to help you out when you do need your contact for a networking opportunity, or if they come across a job opening that they think is right for you.
Make A Point To Wish Contacts Happy Birthday and Congratulate Them On Major Life Events
Social media does a great job of reminding you when some of your contacts are celebrating a major life event. For example, Facebook will always remind you when it is someone’s birthday, while LinkedIn will let you know when a contact got a promotion, or is celebrating a work anniversary. By simply taking a few minutes to text, call, or email them, you let them know that you care, and they will become even stronger contacts going forward.
Develop A Networking Ritual You Know You Can Follow
Just like working out, creating a ritual for daily networking is a great way to make sure you stick to it. Find a time of day where you can dedicate 10 minutes to maintaining and cultivating your network, and then make sure that you block out that time for networking. Set a daily reminder on your phone and/or computer so that you won’t forget. This means that even if your day looks full, you’ll always have that time to write a birthday card to a contact, or make lunch plans to meet with yourcontact for upcoming weeks.