So you’ve landed your next job — Congratulations! That’s certainly a thrilling feeling, and also can be a relief. You’ve likely worked hard to build your network during your job search, whether it was your first, third or fifth, including touching base with everyone you know, attending networking events and much more. I’m here to tell you not to ever let those freshly updated contacts and that energizing momentum go to waste.
Just because you have a promising job, doesn’t mean you should stop trying to expand your professional network, which is unfortunately what I see happen a lot once job seekers land their next position. Keep up the good work and you will reap the rewards when it’s time to look for the next one down the road — or, hey, you might not even need to; the next gig could come to you!
The following are three simple ways you can continue to grow your network, even while fully embracing your current opportunity:
Continue to meet new people face to face. There’s something to be said about booking a coffee or lunch with a new contact, and putting a face to the email address, even if nothing specifically comes of it right now.
Keep updating your LinkedIn page. Maybe there’s a cool new project that you just completed at your company — add it to your personal LinkedIn highlights. In the future, you could forget about these day-to-day successes, which make for really good research material for a future employer.
Get out and play. Some of your best contacts are made when you are doing something outside of work that you enjoy, such as a group fitness class, foreign language course or volunteering at a nonprofit. It’s a great way to build your network without actually trying to grow your network.
Whether you’ve just landed a new job or are fully engaged at your current position, networking is a life-long process that requires ongoing nurturing and energy. Don’t rest on your laurels and become complacent in your networking. Follow these simple tips, keep those networking skills sharp and remain connected to those around you.
Do you have a question about how to expand your professional network? What simple ways do you stay connected? I welcome your comments and ideas.