Lesson #2 provided some very basic, yet practical steps in developing your professional network. As discussed, your personal network can also have a significant impact on your goals whether they be personal or professional. Let's take a look at why you need to develop both simultaneously, and how to do that.
Developing both networks at the same time provides exponential opportunity in achieving your goals, whatever they may be. As mentioned previously, I know your personal network is much more powerful than your professional network. Why? Because they people in your personal network have experience with you and can lend significantly to your abilities and credibility. These people can refer you for a new job, or act as references for previous work done. Also, these people can cast a net for you amongst their networks that are FAR further reaching than yours that stands alone. Remember, we are all thought to be connected through only six degrees of separation. In other words, I know someone, that knows someone, that within six people can connect to EVERYONE IN THIS WORLD! Amazing power in networking! So, let's now list a few steps on how to develop your personal network as well.
1. Make a list of everyone you know in your personal network.
2. Highlight those contacts that correlate with the objectives you are trying to achieve.
3. Make contact with those individuals and inform them of your ideas and goals, and let them know unashamed that you NEED THEIR help in achieving those goals.
4. Offer some sort of incentive for their help. Everyone in your personal network will more than likely want to help you achieve your goals, but offering them an incentive like a golf outing, or tickets to the next sporting event will provide a bit more motivation for them to help you out, and will more than likely assure they will help you again in the future.
Again, these are very basic networking steps, but if followed, will insure you maintain your network that will always be available to you when needed. Lesson #4 will discuss the available social and professional networking sites that are at our disposal in today's high tech world. Utilizing these sites properly will again help you achieve your goals much faster than ever before. Until next time...