Networking is a forward-looking concept. The person you meet today may be someone who can help you (or you help them) tomorrow, next year, and or in the next decade. But how do you meet these people over the course of your career, or even over the next 12 months? Here are some questions to help you set a course for both the short and long terms.
Do you understand in what direction you want to move your career, both within your organization and outside in your professional pursuits and interests? Are you looking to get more involved in a major work project? Changing roles? Jobs? Join or become active in an outside activity? As the Cheshire Cat told Alice in Wonderland, “If you don’t know where you are going…..”
Have you created a positive image or picture in your mind of what you see yourself accomplishing over the next year? Is that picture full of possibilities as well as probabilities? I cannot say it enough: Networking starts with attitude, attitude, attitude—what you think is what you speak. As you develop that picture, who is in it—positive, pro-active and can-do people?
Did you take that image/picture and use it to develop and list specific outcomes/goals, plans, and action steps that will help you (and those you reach out to) move you in the direction of achieving them?