The holiday season is often the only time that many professionals communicate with their extended network of former business associates, bosses, and co-workers. But your professional network is one of the most valuable tools you use to advance your career. Your professional network can provide job opportunities, support and advice, and additional contacts that will help you get the most out of your job. That said, maintaining your professional network takes a certain amount of regular care and nurturing.Email
It doesn’t take much effort to maintain a strong professional network. Email is a great way to drop associates a quick note to keep them up-to-date with your current job, projects, even the books you find inspirational. One of my business associates emails inspiring quotations to his current staff and to his extended professional network. By regularly emailing your associates, you can easily keep them informed of your business news.
A newsletter-either emailed or “snail” mailed-is another great way to keep in touch with your professional network. Use a newsletter to discuss your news-and perhaps even your business associates’ news-to keep associates informed as to your current events.
Events hosted by professional associations are excellent forums for maintaining your professional network. Try to attend at least two events a year, and make it a goal to speak with all of your business acquaintances. Bring extra business cards to hand out to associates who have fallen out of touch, or to make new business connections.
These are just a few suggestions for maintaining your professional network. If you have additional thoughts and ideas for strengthening your network, please feel free to share your suggestions here.