I’m often asked, “What should I be doing now to prepare for my career in the long term?” Time after time, my response is “networking!” Staying in touch with colleagues, friends and classmates to catch them up on what’s happening with you and learn about what’s going on with them is the single best thing you can do for your career.
No matter how you network—email updates, lunch chats, Friday phone calls—touching base keeps you and your skills top of mind with your network. Simply put, networking is the best way to prepare for an advancement opportunity or overcome an unexpected job loss.
Four networking truths:
- Networking is about building two-way relationships. Establishing trust and credibility requires give and take.
- Optimal networking equals 360 networking. Expanding your network upward is invaluable, however, networking with peers and junior level colleagues pays dividends too.
- Regularly set aside time to network. Devote 5 hours/month to maintaining and growing your network. This is enough time to get something accomplished without feeling burdened.
- Networking creates advocates. Advocates are people willing to utilize their social capital to help you get what you want.
About Kendell Brown
After having worked for several years as a career coach with Kelley's Full-Time MBA Program, I have now focused my sights on working with Kelley alumni.
I work with career switchers and career accelerators to help them assess their strengths, define their brands and develop their goals—all in an effort to determine how they can achieve their career ambitions. Once a vision is set, I work with alums to create a path for realization. Typically this path follows one of two avenues—job search or career momentum. For either direction, I believe in a personalized approach that meets an alum where they are.
In addition to 1-1 alumni career coaching, Kelley hosts professional development webinars discussing topics of particular interests to our alums. We continue to explore various professional development resources, such as online networking. To stay informed, please visit the website for event updates, archived webinars, worksheets and career management tools. If you are interested in discussing your personal career plans, please contact me.