“I know I need to network, but I never seem to find the time” is a concern that many people share with me in the mentoring work I do. They have been sold on the benefits and have even made sure that they have the skills to do it effectively. Yet, somehow, life seems to push it to the bottom of the list of things to do.
Often the reason is that they don’t see an immediate payoff. Time is money and networking takes time — sometimes quite a lot of time. And it is true that most networking yields a payback in the medium to long term, and only occasionally in the very short term. Here are three thoughts for you to boost your networking effort…
- Regard networking as a shrewd investment. How much of your success today is linked to networking you have done in the past?
- What is your long-term career/life goal? Focus networking towards that for increased motivation. For example before writing a book, I realised I needed to get other authors in my network and I was really motivated to strive for that.
- Organise around medium-term goals. Think about what you want to achieve next year. To help achieve that, what type of people do you need to add to your network?
Okay, a fourth point — try to make it a habit to do a little networking each day — if only sending an email to someone you’ve not been in touch with for a while.