Now that you’ve read Personal Networking 101 Part I and know the basics, the next step is getting started on your personal networking endeavors by taking action!
What Should My Personal Pie Chart Look Like?
Create your slices based on what is most important to you. You may choose to emulate the Seven Ports of Life from Modelnetics or follow The Wellness Wheel from R. Robertson and G. Microys. Categories from these include Professional, Social, and Intellectual to name a few. If you decide that spending 20 hours per week on an activity such as personal networking is too much, set your own rules. After all, it’s your chart!
Create a Plan for Yourself
If you create a personal networking plan and stick to it, you will find the effort well worth the reward. Sharing your plan with a spouse, partner, or peer, will also increase its efficacy. The depth of your plan should reflect what you are looking to gain from an increased focus on personal networking. The idea is that once you make this a habit, you won’t have to manage it as closely, as it becomes second nature. It will require revisiting and fine tuning on occasion. Just like an exercise routine, you have to change it up in order for it to have an impact.
A Day in the Life of a Personal Networker
- Breakfast with a colleague to discuss hiring for an open position in my department. Interview ideas, questions, and approaches for out of state candidates. Also cover top 3 items in one another’s department and if there is any cross-over.
- Several meetings with opportunities to reach outside of my department to discuss project dependencies, roles, deliverables, and budgets. Ask about family, holiday activities, or the upcoming weekend.
- Attend Toastmasters at lunch. Fill the role of General Evaluator to practice my public speaking skills. Congratulate speakers, thank guests, and briefly visit with colleagues.
- Catch-up on office work, phone message and e-mail. Take the time to call at least 2-3 people in the field and/or corporate to check on projects, ask if there is anything I can be doing for them, and how their team is doing. Close with a personal, yet professionally delivered sentiment.
- E-mail non-profit I work with to touch base on an upcoming fundraiser I am helping to lead.
- Engage in friendly conversation at the gym with the regulars in my exercise class.
- Call a close friend or relative on the drive home to touch base.
- FaceTime with my significant other and catch-up on his day.
- Make a list of the people you know.
- How well do you know each person?
- Are there any gaps in your personal network?
- What activities would enable you to grow your personal network?
- How much time do I have to dedicate to this effort?
- How important is it to me?
- Review your pie chart, create a plan, and choose your direction.
- Get started and ask for assistance if you need it!
- HAVE FUN 🙂