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How to evaluate the individuals in your network to strengthen/broaden your network
Guest articles > How to evaluate the individuals in your network to strengthen/broaden your network
What Is a Network? A network is the group of people you know. Friends, coworkers, family, a hairdresser, or a neighbor are all examples of people in a network.
Why Is A Network Valuable? Networking is a valuable tool in a job search, when seeking a promotion, or when making a career change. To network, you ask people that you know both on a personal and a professional level if they know about any job openings in the field that you are interested in working.
Networking is a valuable job hunting tool. Richard Bolles, author of the bestselling series “What Color Is Your Parachute” states that “By asking for job leads from your family and friends, you have an almost five times better chance of finding a job, than if you had just sent out resumes (p.37).”
In order to evaluate your current network make a list of the top 25 people in your life, personal or professional, that you would contact for information about a possible job opening they may have heard about. Ask yourself the following questions about each person to evaluate your network:
Will this person be helpful to me when I am going through a difficult time?
Have I been helpful to this person?
What does this person think of me in terms of my abilities and talents?
These questions are important because they indicate whether you have a stable relationship with your network. Leadership expert, John Maxwell writes that, “Solid relationships must be beneficial to both parties. Each person has to put the other first, and both have to benefit (p.226).” The people in your network will only help you if you have been willing to be helpful to them.
Excellent Ways to Expand Your Network
1.Develop An Outside Hobby – Any hobby or activity that is social in nature is terrific for network building. Barbequing, hiking, golfing, boating, or joining Toastmasters are all fun activities that can be used for both fun and relationship building.
2.Further Your Education – Online degrees are a convenient way for professional people to further their education, their career, and build a network of social contact in their field.
How to Strengthen Your Network
1.Build Relationships Long Term – Networking should be a long term endeavor. Don’t just call people when you need a job. Build your relationships over a long period of time and help others in your network. Then, when you ask for help you will be more likely to receive it in return.
2.Find a Mentor – A mentor can provide inspiration, guidance, and be a sounding board in your career. A mentor can also assist you with learning to network more effectively with people in your field. Great places to meet mentors are conferences, at work, or when getting an education. When studying for online degrees or just taking a few classes to further your education, you can build your network by meeting colleagues and experts in your field.
Bolles, Richard N. The Job-Hunter’s Survival Guide. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2009.
Maxwell, John C. Talent Is Never Enough. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007.
Written by Melssa, of The Professional Intern
Published here on: 11-Jun-11
Website: The Professional Intern