When Should You Start Networking?
Even though you may have a distaste for networking-like many other professionals do-it is vital that you start building connections within the first thirty to sixty days after getting promoted, or after landing your first job.
This is the period when people in a new company or division are still making up their minds on whether you are a loser-who should not have been hired, or whether you are a dependable person.
Many professionals do not take to networking naturally, and this is why it becomes tough for rising directors or managers to be systematic in reaching out to people who can help. However, what most do not realize is that networking presents an opportunity to obtain crucial information concerning the job, making it possible to succeed early.
Courageous networking, as many call it, requires you to have networking targets both in and out of the company-including your competitor's business.
If you have been recently hired or promoted, you should do the following:
Establish Who Needs to Be in Your Network
Do not just reach out to people who take lunch at the same time or the same place with you. You need to ask yourself, who knows what is going on? Who can get around red tape? Who can help me?
Your immediate boss may be a great help accompanying you to conventions, setting meetings and even making introductory phone calls, but the boss is not the only person who has valuable information in the office.
Reach out to people who always seem to know what is happening, even before it happens.
Dare Introducing Yourself
Many professionals are more receptive than you might think. You will find that no single person will turn down a conversation that starts by explaining that you are new on the job, and looking for someone to help them out in a certain way.
Keep in Mind that Networking is Not a One-way Street
You will make more connections if you can reciprocate a gesture by sharing information you feel might be useful, and staying in touch with your connects.
Most successful executives spend one hour each week staying in touch with their connections, and their efforts always pay off.
The time you spend in your early days at an organization creating your network will help save time later on when attempting to leverage resources, solve problems, and achieve success.