How to Rebuild Your Network

Have you lost touch with your network? Now’s the time to reconnect. And not by asking, “Hi Carl, I know it’s been 10 years since we last spoke, but I’m in the job market right now. Do you know anyone who’s hiring?”

Instead, how might you be of value to this person? Know that value does not have to equal money. Here are some quick tips to get back in touch and provide value at the same time:

1. Send a congratulatory note. You’re reviewing your LinkedIn updates and saw your friend got a new gig. Your congratulatory note will likely result in a quick phone call or email back to you. You can then set up a quick meeting to reconnect.
2. Send a link to a great blog post. You just read a terrific blog post. Tweet the link to your Twitter followers and, if relevant, to your LinkedIn connections as a status update.
3. Volunteer. If you’re not working, you’ve got a little time on your hands. Volunteering not only helps others, but also helps you make new connections and stay positive.
4. Serve on a board. I just got a call from a colleague about this. Boards need great people with solid work ethics and talent. Sound like you? What nonprofit can you serve on? Boards can be a great way to connect with community leaders, while doing something positive for a cause you believe in.
5. Check out your local Chamber of Commerce. What can you do for them? One of my clients (who had an MBA in Information Systems) volunteered to revamp her chamber’s website. This led to meeting top guns from local businesses who were chamber members. One of them hired her.

Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “If you help enough people get what they want, you’ll get what you want.” This makes networking much easier because you’re not asking for a job, you’re helping your friends. Next step, stay connected by touching base regularly. This helps you fuel your network to fire it up. Your network will be there for you when you need it, because you never lost touch. Good luck!

© 2011 ● Wendy Terwelp ● All rights reserved.

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