Not Every Professional Network is Equal, How to Establish an "Actionable Network"
Forbes.com reported that at the end of 2012, there were 3.6 million job openings and only 20% of them were advertised to the public. This means that over 2.8 million jobs were open, but you probably never heard about any of them.
In order to shift those 2.8 million openings from the unknown to viable job opportunities, you need to start connecting with people who have the inside track at companies that are looking to hire. In other words, you need to start building your Professional Network!
Now, not every network is created equal, so we need to make sure your network is "Actionable.”
People in an “Actionable Network” do the following:
1) Constantly expand their network beyond what is already established
2) Actively look for opportunities for themselves and others in their network
3) Are involved in their own community aside from professional endeavors
An “Actionable Network” is only as good its members, including yourself. Here are a few easy, actionable steps to take on a weekly basis to ensure you are a key player in your own “Actionable Network.”
1) Actively introduce people to each other
Whether online or in person, make sure you are introducing people who can help each other.
Examples: Students attending the same college or with the same major, a new grad with a professional in the same career, or people with similar social interests (hobbies, sports teams, etc.).
2) Actively inform people of opportunities
Being the know-it-all when it comes to networking events, classes, job openings or helpful tips and tricks isn't a bad thing when it comes to your network. Share these great opportunities with specific people in your network, they will be grateful and will most likely return the favor!
Examples: Sharing a Facebook event for vegans with a vegan co-worker, inviting along a fellow student to an on-campus networking event, or connecting a friend with a job posting you saw on LinkedIn.
3) Actively help your community
Being involved in nonprofits and community outreach are some of the best ways to meet like minded professionals in your area. Not to mention, volunteering is truly a rewarding experience and might allow you to expand on some of your professional skills.
Examples: Attending fundraisers for a cause you care about, volunteering at a fun run or walk, or joining the board of a local nonprofit organization.
As I mentioned before, make sure to perform these actions on a weekly basis. It can be as easy as emailing a link or sending a text, but the key is to do it on a regular basis. The more often, the better!
Today I challenge you to introduce two people in your network who do not already know each other and will benefit from the connection.
If you found this post valuable, I ask that you share it via email or social network directly with someone you know.
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