Get Wired: Why It’s Time to Invest in Your Network

by Jennifer Britton

You’ve probably heard before how important it is to network. It’s not hard to see that making new connections and building your brand contributes to long term success. So you may be connecting, but are you connecting with the right people? And even more importantly, are you keeping your network connections active?

Every day, I work with organizations that are looking for top talent to add to their team and I’m often asked to find individuals that are “wired” correctly in their current role. Companies want to hire people who not only know how to network, but also know who to network with and have built sustainable relationships within their network.

When an employer sees a candidate that is “wired” into the industry, it’s not only a great sign that they know what they’re doing, but also that they are dedicated to professional growth. Your networking ability will not only keep you current on industry trends, but will also become part of your personal brand.

As you progress in your career, many people will experience your personal brand and you’ll soon realize how important networking will become to developing and maintaining your personal brand. It will become more and more crucial to align yourself with key individuals (past and present) to ensure continued success within your network. You never know which connections will resurface as your roles and responsibilities change during the course of your career. Invest the time into staying connected and staying relevant to those important connections.

To get you started, a great way to foster your network is to reach out to key people with an article or piece of research that is applicable to that connection or their role. This not only helps build a relationship, but it keeps you top of mind as a potential resource of value. Chances are they will even start to see you as an industry expert. With something that simple, you could ensure that when a future employer speaks with someone in your network, they will not only know who you are, but what you can offer.

How do you keep up with your network connections? Share some of your favorite tricks in the comments below!

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