Dev Randhawa discusses professional networks.
The Harvard Business Review has published an article about the maintenance of professional networks as the years go by – I’ve chosen to summarise and find out more.
The article opens with words from experts who state that:
“Research shows that networks give people access to information, such as advice and problem-solving assistance, among other benefits.”
“For most professionals, the job offers they receive and consulting offers they land are a direct result of their network.”
From this, it’s clear that maintaining a strong professional network is key to attaining success in one’s career, so how to go about it? The first snippet of advice is to prioritize.
The article’s author relays the words of a networking expert who suggests that first, one should group networking contacts into ‘buckets’ such as clients, potential clients and colleagues and then after this allocate time to these respective groups.
Another expert warns against rigid, un-personalized allocation and suggests that contacts one is friendly with should be kept in the loop regardless of their professional use.
A second piece of advice is how to show you care about your contacts.
Making an effort
Talk of ‘buckets’ and ‘allocation’ has a somewhat de-humanizing effect on networking contacts in my view, so it’s good that the article’s author relays the view from the experts that showing ‘how you care’ is important.
This can be done through utilising different communication tools such as the phone, social media, email contact and even handwritten notes. I think it’s good that many bases of communication are covered, as it can be easy for workers who belong to certain sectors to get lost in their own method of communication, be it email, face-to-face or via a specially-built app.
The article goes on to highlight other do’s and don’ts, such as ‘offer to help’, ‘be strategic with social media’ and importantly, ‘don’t force friendships’ – all explained in-depth with cogent analysis.
In summary, another great article from HBR – I’d recommend a brief look if you’re planning on a networking spree.
About Dev Randhawa
Dev Randhawa is the CEO of Fission Uranium Corp. and an expert in natural resource exploration. He is also an active blogger on leadership, team-building and the uranium industry.