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now is the time to build your networkNetworking is so critical to job search and career success that it’s pretty much ALWAYS time to build your network.

However, now really is a strategic time to pay deliberate attention to cultivating the relationships you have and developing new ones. Why?

For one thing, companies are hiring now—we’re seeing a lot going on with our coaching clients and customers. Even the ones who may be putting their hiring on hold right now may hire in December (actually a great time to job search) and after the New Year.

Reaching out to your network may result in you getting a job now, or it may set you up to be in the right place at the right time in a couple of months. It’s an ideal way to crack the hidden job market.

How do you build or strengthen your network?

  • You can always email people you know to say ‘hi.’ In fact, I recommend doing this on a regular schedule (see 4 Easy Networking Tips), so you’re making some kind of contact with everyone you know at least 2-3 times a year.When I tell people to do this, the question I most often get is, ‘What do I say?’ You have lots of options. These don’t have to be long notes, and they don’t have to be perfect. You just need to make that contact. You can:
    • Let them know what’s going on with you if you’ve changed jobs or addresses
    • Send them something you know they’d be interested in like a book recommendation or a link to a great website
    • Ask if they’re going to the conference
    • Ask for advice
    • Say that you were thinking of them and ask if there’s anything you can do for them
    • Join groups on LinkedIn and participate in discussions (this is a great and easy way to get to know--and be known by--others in your field)

These are just a few ideas out of many you could do. Yes, it does take a little time but not as much as you may think, and the rewards are huge.

If you need more ideas, check out my ebook available on Amazon:

Networking Effectively: How to Build Your Network for Career Success 

how to build your network