Having a strong professional network is a tremendous asset when conducting an executive job search in shared services. It’s an ongoing process that requires careful nurturing and strategic engagement. In this series on networking, we explore Step 2: Conducting Campaigns to maintain and strengthen your network.
The Best Time to Build Your Network
There is never a bad time to cultivate and expand your network of professional contacts. However, it’s particularly advantageous to focus on networking when you can help others and aren’t actively seeking assistance, such as when you’re actively looking for a job. Building and maintaining relationships is a long-term endeavor, and starting when you do not require immediate support allows you to more easily make and build authentic connections.
Interaction and Frequency
Maintaining a robust network requires regular interaction with the individuals you’ve added to your network. In Step 1, we discussed setting a frequency for reaching out to each person in your network. This frequency should typically be at least once a year to ensure that your connections remain active and meaningful.
Finding Meaningful Reasons to Connect
One of the challenges in networking is finding genuine reasons to reach out to someone. When contacting individuals in your network, it’s essential to have something substantial to discuss. If all your interactions remain superficial, your relationships may never progress. Seek to deepen your connections by sharing meaningful updates and insights.
One perfectly legitimate reason to contact someone in your network is to share news about yourself. When you experience significant positive changes in your life, such as securing a new position, relocating to a new city, or achieving other milestones, go beyond simple announcements on platforms like LinkedIn. Instead, send personalized messages to those in your network. Tailor your messages to include specific comments relevant to each recipient.
Incorporate your initial message in the campaign as the opening to a brief back-and-forth conversation. Use this opportunity to further develop your relationship and maintain regular contact. Engaging in meaningful dialogue not only strengthens your connections but also keeps you top-of-mind among your network contacts.
Cultivating your network is an ongoing effort that involves strategic interactions and meaningful engagement. Step 2 in the series on networking emphasizes the importance of conducting campaigns to keep your network vibrant and productive. By maintaining regular contact, finding meaningful reasons to connect, and initiating conversations, you ensure that your network remains a valuable resource, not just for job opportunities but for professional growth and support.
Remember, the best time to build your network is when you can help others, fostering authentic connections that can potentially lead to executive-level positions when the time is right.