How Effective is Your Professional Network?

Maybe it's time to reevaluate the effectiveness of your professional network. Some think of a network as similar to a Board of Advisers. Others, view it more informally. Regardless, networking is critical to career growth.

What is networking? In short, it's a process through which you create and sustain relationships to exchange information. It's best when built on mutual benefit. Just a few reminders as you refresh your networking efforts.

  1. Develop your 30 second elevator speech--talk about what makes you unique and what career-related aspriations you have.
  2. Create a list of people with whom you have already developed relationships. Do they have a copy of your latest resume? When was the last time you spoke with them?
  3. Reconnect. Talk about their education, experience, work activities and working condition. Ask them to recommend others to help build your network.
  4. Follow-up. Don't forget to thank people when they help you. And keep in touch.