Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Nurturing My -- and Your -- Professional Network

I read the Washington Post Jobs section every Sunday, but I don't read it for the classifieds. I read it because I enjoy the Jobs column. This week's piece was about fostering your professional network, in this particular case, your alumni network. (Particularly fitting since I work for a university, but not really my point here...)

What caught my eye the most from this article -- and what stuck with me and inspired me to write this post -- was the following sentence:

"'You have to do something for someone every single day. That's how you maintain and keep expanding your network,' said [Lee] Dudka, [president of the Princeton Club of Washington and a pharmaceutical and technology consultant] who's finishing a book on networking."

I'd like to think I follow the spirit of this advice. I make referrals for colleagues I respect. I run this group and help coordinate monthly lunches. But do I do enough? Do I do something every day? Probably not.

So in the honor of Dudka's sentiment, I thought I'd try a little experiment for the month of July... plus today. Each day during the work week, I'm going to aim to "do something for someone" to help maintain and expand my professional network. And I'm going to post here about what that something is. (If it goes well, maybe I'll keep doing it through August... or expand my self-challenge to a whole year. But sometimes it's better to start small and succeed before promising something bigger.)

So, in the spirit of this post, I'm happy to say it's 8:40 a.m. and I've already done two things for others:
  1. Sent a media query on to a (non-Hopkins) colleague I know through the Leadership Montgomery program that could result in some nice media coverage for him and his business.
  2. Sent a media query on to a Hopkins colleague (who isn't on my campus) with an offer to help him fine-tune his answer before he responds to the reporter.
I think those two activities should count as today's "good deeds."

Come back here each day to find out what that days "somethings" are. (And I'll post updates as to any results of my efforts.)

In the meantime, happy networking! (And wish me luck!)

-- Robin

1 comment:

Shashi Bellamkonda said...

Hi Robin,

I missed the article in the Post so thanks for pointing me to that. That counts as another good deed :.

I think this can be carried forward in Social Media as comment on one friend/network member's blog or tweet to them or bookmark their post or comment on their flickr pic :)

Look forward to more tips on keeping the network alive. I have received a lot of connections through you .