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Network for Success

Harvey Mackay, well-known, irreverent speaker and author of Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty (compare prices), tells you that networking is a full time job no matter your career or business. And, you want to have a professional network established long before you need a network.

Networking is meeting an extended group of people to form mutually beneficial relationships that provide assistance and support over time.

When I sought to change jobs before I started my consulting practice, I quickly discovered that my entire network of contacts was other people who were also working in education. This was not a helpful state of affairs when the positions I wanted were in a different field. I had to take the time to extend my network of contacts before my job searching was successful.

The funny end of the story is that after building an extensive network of contacts, an educator did provide the contact that eventually led to my new job in training and organization development. I have retained much of the network I developed at that time, however. I just need to spend more time with them.

You can become a magnet that attracts people and resources if you invest the time and energy necessary to develop a strong network of contacts. You can effectively network:

  • Build a network of partners to keep an open eye and ear for new opportunities for you, and vice versa, you for them. Networking is only effective when it is mutually beneficial.
  • Reach targeted individuals for your business in two ways: directly or indirectly through your contacts.
  • Build visibility within your industry or profession by raising your profile. Go to every social and business gathering you possibly can.
  • Build a strong network with coworkers within your organization to accomplish work more successfully by utilizing your network of mutually beneficial relationships.

Networking has never been easier than now when you can almost instantaneously begin to build a far flung network of professional people on online social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Take a look at these resources that will help you know how to network effectively so that you accomplish your mission and purpose: The Best of Effective Networking for Professional Success. Additionally, About.com’s Alison Doyle provides the best online social and career networking sites.

While focused on career networking, this resource provides effective network building strategies for you to use: Network Your Way to a New Job or Career. See also Your Image Is You: Communication and Appearance in Networking.

Continue the Ten Days to a Happier, More Successful Career and Life program via the website or subscribe to the emailed newsletter.

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Network for Success originally appeared on About.com Human Resources on Thursday, December 31st, 2009 at 15:02:53.

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