More and more people are securing new jobs! That’s the good news. Many of these past job seekers, sadly not all, learned how important having a solid network was. Most of them had to build their network from scratch. So what happens when you don’t have 40 hours to network? How will you continue to carve time into your new schedule for this valuable career insurance?
The easiest way to continue to nurture your relationships is to tap into LinkedIn. In less than 30 minutes a day, you can monitor and comment on the status updates within your network. Congratulate people on new jobs, wish them well on interviews, make some thoughtful comment based on their status update. If you are on Facebook, you could do the same thing.
Online networking is not a replacement for a face to face get together. There are certainly people within your contacts that you know are key players, thought leaders, wonderful connectors, or maybe somehow needing your time. Arrange to have a before work chat with them over coffee. If that doesn’t work, consider lunch or after hours. One hour a week is all it will take to nurture this relationship. How many contacts need this level of follow up is determined by you. Flag them somehow and schedule your face to face, either monthly or quarterly.
You may have over committed yourself to volunteer opportunities. Now is the time to really evaluate which activities you have time for. Remember, bow out gracefully. The organization was lucky to have you while they did and will understand your new time limitations. That doesn’t mean you’ll drop them like a hot potato. Stay as involved as you can afford to be.
Now that you have some income and an employer that may pay for professional association dues, which professional association were you really wanting to join, but didn’t have the money? Before you commit, check out a meeting or event to make sure it is worthy of belonging to. Then, ask your employer if they may be willing to sponsor your membership. Let your employer know about the time commitment and how THEY will benefit from your being a member. Maybe you could share the newsletter with your team or perhaps a regular debrief of current industry related topics.
Update your new job function and salary requirements with recruiters. Obviously not all recruiters, but those that you felt some connection with. Let them know you will always be looking for your next great opportunity and would be glad to help them any way you can.
Finally, communicate with your family and friends. Let them know how much you appreciate their support and understanding. Absolutely let them know about your new job. You may hold off on all the details until you’ve been in the position for 30 days or so, just to be sure you have the lay of the land. Staying connected with this very personal part of your network is so important. They are the core of your support system. Offer to help any of them if they ever need assistance. Pay it forward, always!