Need a New Years Resolution? Try Exercise your Networking Muscle.

I was going to try and not mention the word “New Years Resolution”, but what can I say, I couldn’t resist.. and I had to relate it to exercise! Of course, we all (almost all of us, yes?) want/ need to do more exercise right? But what about that Networking muscle.. it’s also poorly neglected  by the majority of job seekers I meet, so here are some thoughts for a new weekly networking regime. Are you up to it?

Monday: Online: Linkedin Research. Target key people in Professional groups/Answers section: Reach out with a targeted question(s), or request for an informational interview. Do Keyword searches to find people who could share relevant information with you, and that would help you build a solid network on LinkedIn. Email first, then ask for a telephone conversation. Emphasis is on making a connection in person, or on the phone. The linkedin connection can wait.

Set up 2-3 in-person meetings for the week. These are opportunities to get to know someone better, as well as get to know a targeted employer, or letting them know you better.  Share valuable information with your network: Know of someone who could help someone else. Share it.

Tuesday: Go Local: Speed networking at Ferguson Library, Volunteer, Join a group via Meetup, local community center- learn new or participate in sport , learn a new group oriented game. Find a Knitting group,  a language group. Share a valuable piece of information with all members of the group. Always mention your name before asking a question or contributing to the discussion.    logo_82

Recruiter Connect: Reach out to recruiters you know just to say hello. Ask how they are doing? Maybe you have connections for other jobs that they are looking to fill.

Wednesday: Practice Knowledge-powered networking: Determine your passion/ area of expertise: Gather information, write your own article. Post it on Linkedin, your Facebook profile. Can you make it into a PowerPoint presentation? Who can you present it to. – Call up Continuing Ed Programs as well as professional association groups you are a member of to discuss ideas.

Go where the party is: Register for one professional networking/event a week. Alumni Groups/ Professional Association E.g Whine & dine, MENG (Marketing Professionals) / Conference/ Talks related to your interests. Search Linkedin event calendar, Idealist Event calendars. Set up a Google alert based on Keywords “Non-profit”, Event, CT

Thursday: Online: Share & comment on one or more articles pertaining to your area of interest/ expertise. Share on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter.

Friday: Take a class for professional & personal development – Continuing Ed. Programs – Broaden your skill set and meet new people with similar interests and at a reasonable price

Volunteer: Preferably in a setting where you are using your skill sets or developing new ones, and you have the opportunity to get to know more people. Don’t know where to find the most appropriate volunteer activity for you, check out this comprehensive list

Saturday: Relax & network:  Find a team sport/ group activity you would enjoy participating in like dancing, Movies, Languages/ Books/ Dogs- Once again, not sure where to look, www.Meetup.com

Sunday: Start a conversation: At the gym, at a kids birthday, at the park, at the library, at Starbucks.  Practice Curiosity as a job search technique- Ask questions. Create your own informational interview. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you learn.
Exhausted? I bet.. If this is too rigorous for you then start slowly- choose a few activities you can get started with. With a little bit of practice, You are going to start feeling really good.Let me know how they go. Happy Networking! And once again, here is to a GREAT 2010!

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