Networking is a critical part of maximizing your business school experience and is especially important for finding a job. In fact, as many as 85 percent of all jobs are filled through networking. However, many aspiring networkers are not properly nurturing their professional relationships.
In a recent Forbes article, networking and relationship-building expert Darrah Brustein provides insights for effectively nurturing your network:
Build genuine relationships that are not based on selfish motives of “what can I get from this relationship.” Instead, Brustein suggests to view each connection as an opportunity to challenge your curiosities, learn, find commonalities and add value to someone else’s professional growth.
Maximize down time.
Maintaining your network doesn’t have to take hours out of your day. “In your free minutes between meetings and calls or while commuting, send a quick call, text or email to someone with whom you’ve not spoken in a while. It can be to simply say hello and to let them know they were on your mind.”
Use tools to help you stay connected.
While there are some tools that can help you track professional relationships, an easy (and free) alternative is to use your digital calendar to create a “reconnect” reminder that recurs on a monthly basis. Log names, contact information and relevant notes to help you easily connect with people in your network.
Capitalize on milestones.
For best results, capitalize on reconnecting during important milestones in someone’s life and career. Social accounts, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, have made it easier than ever before to help you remember birthdays and work anniversaries or see when someone gets a promotion.
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