Thursday, March 22, 2007

I Just Landed a New Job, so I'm Done Networking, Right?

After you find a new position, the relationships you developed during your search may continue to be important to your career. Here are a few suggestions for maintaining a viable network once you conclude your job search.

Update contact information
Be sure to send information on your new work location to all those who supported your efforts. This includes all personal contacts, recruiters, and other interested parties. Thank them all for their efforts and support. Plaxo and Spoke are great tools for keeping your network up to date.

Stay connected to colleagues
Keep in touch with co-workers, clients, and vendors from your previous position. By proactively managing these relationships now you strengthen the quality of your network and improve the opportunity to leverage these relationships at another point in time. Keep in mind that reciprocity is an important piece of the networking dynamic and by staying in touch you may be in a position to help your contacts should they decide to pursue other employment opportunities.

Keep professional memberships active
Continue to remain active in professional organizations. Contribute your time and knowledge to the organization’s events, special interest groups, and newsletters. The visibility you create now will benefit your professional development in many ways. An excellent resource for finding appropriate professional organizations for your industry is Weddles.

Conduct informational interviews
Remember how grateful you were when you were granted an informational interview or networking meeting? Consider doing the same if you are asked to offer advice or information to someone interested in your field or organization. What goes around comes around and such interviews give you the opportunity to source new talent, mentor a colleague, or build a relationship that will benefit both of you in the future.

Go to lunch
The lunch hour is a great time to bond with new co-workers and grow your network. Dine with a diverse group of colleagues across business units and job functions.

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