Three Simple Ways to Make Networking a Part of Your Professional Life
There are some practices that we all know we should do, but are challenging to actually carry out. Think: working out, eating healthy, or meditation. They make our lives better, but we seldom do them. While we see the benefit, these activities inevitably feel like chores. Let’s be honest: no matter how nutritionally dense they are, I’ve never actually craved a kale chip. For many of us, networking falls into this category of “shoulds.” You don’t have to be an undaunted extrovert to garner benefits from networking. Here are three ways you can integrate networking into your routine.
• Share what you’re doing. Social media is low-hanging fruit. Start with a modest goal and be consistent. That might mean posting once a month on LinkedIn or Tweeting weekly. Strike a balance of sharing what you’re doing and celebrating the accomplishments of others.
• Let’s do lunch. Many of us avoid networking because we don’t like giant gatherings. Networking exists on all scales. One small but significant practice is to invite a colleague you haven’t seen recently to lunch or coffee once a month. This is a manageable networking habit that can yield encouragement and collaboration.
• Connect others. Opportunities regularly arise to refer colleagues to one another. When someone in your network has a need, make an effort to point them in the direction of someone who can help. Better yet, make the introduction yourself. When you benefit others, you are strengthening your network in ways that uplift everyone.