Professional development is relational. Making and nurturing connections is more important than ‘finding’ them.
— Tonyalynne Wildhaber

ON NETWORKING

Networking brings up a variety of perspectives and beliefs.

For some, networking is a natural skill.  

For others, it is a skill flexed most often in a time of professional need.

And for many others, networking is an occasional activity that rises and falls within one's professional life when the time is carved out for it. 

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Networking takes practice and energy management.

1. Develop a networking approach according to your personality and communication style.

2. Choose shared goals as the anchor for connection. 

3. To maintain and nurture established professional connections, schedule time every three to nine months to reach out, catch up, and learn how to best champion each other professionally.

TYPES OF NETWORKING

IN PERSON, VIRTUAL, OR IN WRITING:

  • In our global workforce, networking isn't just in person anymore. 
  • Expand your approach by making connections virtually or in writing via email and reputable professional networks such as LinkedIn or industry-specific platforms.

Potential Supervisor Specific:

  • When no job is posted and you'd like to connect by phone or over coffee
  • When there's a job posted and you have applied

HR Specific:

  • When there is no current job posted and you'd like a coffee or phone call
  • When there is a job posted and you have applied

Friend-of-Friend Specific: 

  • Applicable to personal or professional friends
  • When a potential job exists and you're interested in applying
  • When no job is posted but you are interested in joining the organization

Follow-Up Emails:

  • Forward your initial email and then offer a deeply brief follow-up inquiry about connection.
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COLD NETWORKING

HOW TO STRUCTURE YOUR OUTREACH WHEN YOU DON'T KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE.

1. Highlight how you found the person

2. Offer a light apology: I hope you don't mind me reaching out...

3. Offer authentic engagement: The work you're doing is inspiring and I'd love to...

4. State your current career transition/exploration status. I'm currently exploring opportunities...

5. Make the ask for a brief phone call or coffee meet-up

6. Attach resume: Attached is my resume so you have an idea of my background...

COURAGEOUS THOUGHT & ACTION EXERCISE

1. What is my current relationship to networking?

2. What limiting beliefs do I need to look in the eye to develop a stronger networking approach?

3. Where do I seek to practice my networking more consciously?

4. What networking actions will I take this week on behalf of my goals? 

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