Most people don’t have a networking plan, even though part of the difficulty with networking is that it can get pushed off your priority list if you don’t make time for it. You can easily spend hours and hours finding and meeting new people. But, if you don’t stay in touch with them or don’t do anything with what you learn, it’s all a waste of time.
That is why we recommend you put together a networking plan, so you know what you need to do every day to reach your networking and career goals – whether that is finding your dream job or getting that dream client.
Here is an effective networking plan that will take you no longer than 20 minutes each day.
Day 1: Write down your goals.
Did you know that you are 95% more likely to achieve your goal if it is written down? If you go through the next 30 days with no clear goal in mind, you won’t be able to achieve anything.
Day 2: Create a networking action plan.
This month, each person that you talk to and each event you attend should be targeted. Ask yourself these questions.
What is my specific career focus?
In the next three years, what is my short-term career goal?
In the next 5-10 years, what is my long-term career goal?
What is currently working in my network?
What is currently not working in my network? Where am I overinvested and underinvested in my current network?
Given my career goals, what kinds of people should be in my network?