Up Your Net-Worth Through Networking

Posted November 30, 2017 in Member Spotlight, Networking

Networking is one of those things that we all know to be important, but that often falls to the bottom of the pile when other more urgent needs come along – a project deadline, an urgent request from a senior leader, an unexpected problem – there are an array of things that come up every day which seem to get in the way of maintaining our network. The more we put it off, the more time that lapses and the more awkward it feels to reach out to people. So, how can we stay active and current with our networks, so that we don’t find ourselves feeling awkward about reaching out when we need something?

Recently we asked Roundtable Members Gabriella O’Rourke, Group Practice Manager of the Commercial Litigation Group for Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) and Elliott Silverstein, Manager of Government Relations at CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) to share their ideas and strategies on how to maintain your network. Here are some of their tips:

  • Not sure where to begin? Start small and identify just a handful of contacts. Consider who may have the most potential impact on your career goals, or who you have not been in touch with for a while, or who you know that has recently made a change.

 

  • Schedule time into your calendar, even if you have to book it weeks in advance. Make a recurring note in your calendar to call just a few contacts every week.

 

  • Scan LinkedIn and other social networks for content others have posted. Like, share and comment in ways that demonstrate you are interested in the things they are working on.

 

  • Use the natural opportunities that arise. When you see a press release or a news article about something your contact’s company has done, or something that is happening in their industry, flip it to them and use it as a moment of connection.

 

  • Don’t think it all needs to be formal and planful. Chance meetings can be a great opportunity to re-engage or further an existing connection.

 

  • Be attentive to the information around you. If you see/hear that someone has a new assignment, has been nominated for an award or has recently made a change, send a personalized note congratulating them. Handwritten notes via snail mail will have an exponential and lasting effect. Keep a stack of stationary cards and stamps close by to make this a simple task.

 

  • Send holiday cards – What was once common for many businesses has been scaled back in recent years. Identify your key contacts and send them a personal note this holiday season.

 

  • Share your network. Look for opportunities to bring some of your network contacts together, who may benefit from meeting each other.

 

  • When new job opportunities come across your desk that are not a fit for you, think of someone in your network who might find the opportunity interesting. Flip it to them with a personalised note.

 

  • Don’t forget to network internally within your organisation, at every level. You never know where that next idea may come from and who you might need in your corner for the next project or challenge.

 

  • Make it easy for people to learn what you’re doing. Update your own LinkedIn with new information. Share a project or an article you found interesting.

 

Take a few small steps with your network and it will pay off. According to Gabriella “the people who actively nurture and protect their network over the span of their career are the ones who ultimately produce the greatest net-worth for themselves and their organizations, and who stay current and valuable in the face of constant change. None of us can do it alone and none of us has the answer to every challenge we face. Humans are social creatures by nature and we learn through our interactions with others. So, no matter how critical that piece of work is, or how pressing that deadline, maintaining your network is just as crucial to your ongoing viability as a leader.”

 

Don’t let networking fall to the bottom of your pile!


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