Main image of article Networking's About What Happens AFTER You Meet People

Tip of the Day

A common myth has it that networking is all about meeting people. Truth is, it's more about what you do after you've been introduced to someone. In other words, how many people you know isn't as important as how well you communicate with them—or what you do for them. You need to consistently communicate. It makes no sense to get all that great personal contact information and then not talk to a person for a year. Whether it's with a calendar, a spreadsheet or just a simple notebook, create a system to make sure you check in with people regularly.

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But building your network and staying in touch isn’t enough. Your network's real strength is developed through your ability to help your contacts. Whether it's by giving a recommendation, helping solve a problem or providing your perspective on a question, you want to have helped others so they are willing to help you. At some point, you'll need their support to solve a problem at work, get perspective on a job or find out information about a company. The people that you’ve helped will likely be there for you. Plus, people will come to you with opportunities—you won’t have to go searching for them.

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