Maintaining Your Network

Submitted by Leah Nash, Class of 2000
Chief Innovator at Trusted Source

 It’s very easy to take an internship, finish up a class or work briefly somewhere and never talk to a person from there again.  But, in all honesty, I don’t advise it.  Burning bridges, or not tending to your network of key contacts, is not a good practice.  It’s much better to keep in touch with people you like because a) it’s fun, and b) those people may be really good contacts for you in the future.  Connections are crucial and may just give you the edge that you need when you find that oh-so-perfect job later in life.

And guess what, nowadays, it’s really easy to stay in touch with almost everyone through social media, AND, you have so many different options!  Want to keep it professional?  Connect with your colleagues through LinkedIn.  Made a new friend?  Keep up with them through Facebook.  Just have similar interests?  Twitter may be the way for you to keep up with these folks.  The point is, it doesn’t really matter so much how you stay in touch, just try to do it.  You will find that it’s a small world out there.  If you’re going to stick around O-town, it’s really small.

What’s an Informational Interview?  During my career, there have been plenty of times when I connected with people through informational interviews.  Informational interviews are when you make an appointment with someone just to talk to them about what they do and find out more about their story.  They usually do not have a job or internship to offer you.  You just want to find out more about them.  Most of the time, after an informational interview, you’ll find that you have a new advocate in your corner and a great new key contact to add to your network.

When deciding with whom to schedule an informational interview, consider taking a look at people who you really admire.  Shoot them a professional email, connect with them through LinkedIn or give their office a call.  It may take some time, and if you’re willing to wait, you can probably get on his/her schedule.  I think that you will find informational interviews to be extremely valuable.  For the most part, I have found people usually want to help others if they can.

Maintaining your network is just as important as developing your network.  Much like in social media relations, you must maintain your new relationships in a relevant fashion.  It may take time, but it will pay off in the end.

Trusted Source is an Orlando based marketing firm.  Contact Leah Nash at leah@trustedsourcefl.com for more information on Trusted Source internship opportunities.  Internship opportunities are also posted at the Rollins R-CareerLink.

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