Your professional connections are people who support your career goals. For example, your network could be made up of family and friends, teachers, former managers, mentors, and colleagues.
Having a strong network of connections can give your career a boost. The right people will be able to give you references and advice.
It can take time to build your network of connections, so it’s important to keep in touch with them. Social media has made it easy to check in, with over 4.55 billion users worldwide. 5.29 billion people use a mobile phone, so you can connect anytime from anywhere.
If you want to get more from your network of connections, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading because we’ll give you our top six tips for staying in touch with your professional connections.
There will be a range of different people in your professional network. They can be a mix of friends and acquaintances, and you can communicate online, over the phone, or in person.
Instead of personal relationships, these are professional ones.
Your connections will be there to discuss your career goals and help you succeed. For example, if you are looking for a new job, they may know someone with a job opening. Or, if you want a career change, they may have had a similar experience.
Your professional relationships should be mutually beneficial. By staying in touch with your connections, sharing your own experiences, and giving referrals, your network will be strong.
If you’re looking to grow your professional network, you can start at Jobcase. Sign up for a free account, and participate in community discussions to find like-minded individuals.
Your professional relationships can be beneficial in both the short and long term. Even if you’re not currently looking for work, your circumstances could change in the future.
For example, you may need advice before applying for a promotion or help finding a new job. Hiring managers often rely on referrals when looking for new team members. If you know someone at a company, it could be advantageous.
If you don’t maintain your professional relationships, you could lose them. Building a network doesn’t happen overnight, and if a career opportunity arises, you’ll want to know you can reach out to your connections for help.
Not all professional relationships are worth maintaining. You want people around you who are supportive and genuinely want you to succeed.
If you’ve already lost touch with some of your old professional connections, it’s never too late to reconnect.
You’ll have different types of connections in your network. How often you contact them will depend on your relationship.
Your work colleagues and managers will be people you see regularly. You’ll probably catch up with friends and family members in more casual settings.
Some of your connections will expect regular catch-ups such as a coffee or lunch.
If your contacts are on professional networking sites such as Jobcase, you can log in a few times a week.
Interact with their posts, and if they share an achievement, make sure you congratulate them.
You can use email to stay in touch with other connections. Try to check in once every three months to keep the connection alive.
Keeping in touch with your network doesn’t have to be difficult. It can take time, but the rewards will be worth the effort.
Here are our top six tips to help you work your connections and keep your network alive:
Chances are, most of your connections will be active on social media.
If you want to stay in touch, social media is a convenient way to do it. And you’ll be able to add to your growing network.
You’ll be updated in real-time, and you can interact with posts by liking, commenting, and sharing. You can check in with multiple contacts at once and share any career milestones.
Remember, if you’re using social media to keep in touch with your network, make sure your profile is employer-friendly. What you post online could impact a future referral.
You can keep your Facebook profile private for family and friends and use Jobcase for professional purposes.
When you meet people in person, you can brainstorm ideas and get to know your connections better. If you’re meeting a friend, you might plan to go for a coffee or an after-work drink.
Or, if it’s an acquaintance, you may prefer a more formal catch-up, such as a lunch meeting or a visit to their office.
Some people in your network may be interested in regular catch-ups. For example, you can organize a monthly get-together at a local restaurant.
If you do meet as a group, ask your connections to bring someone new. When different people are introduced to your circle, you can continue to grow your network.
If you’re having trouble getting everyone in one place, consider a video catch-up instead.
Try to stay engaged with your network. Be interested in their careers and goals, and celebrate their successes.
For example, if one of your connections shares news of a promotion or career change on social media, offer your congratulations. Or, if you know someone who is looking for work, keep an eye out for opportunities that may interest them.
You can create an online group for some of your professional contacts. You can share anything relevant, such as industry news or job opportunities.
Make sure you ask permission before adding a professional connection to an online group.
Your professional relationships should be positive and mutually beneficial. If you have two connections you think should meet each other, let them know.
For example, you may have a friend who wants to change careers from food services to retail. And one of your connections could be a store manager looking for a new employee.
By referring your friend for the job, it'll increase their chances of getting hired. Sharing relevant connections is a good way to keep your network alive. One day, someone may do the same for you.
If someone in your network does you a favor, make sure you thank them. If they comment on one of your social media posts, you can give them a quick reply.
Sometimes your connections may go out of their way to help you. For example, someone could recommend you for a job or give you feedback on your resume. In these scenarios, consider a written thank you.
A personalized thank you can be sent via email. Or, you can send a handwritten note to show your appreciation.
Always be professional when talking to your connections. Even if you’ve been chatting for a while, it’s important to be respectful.
Don’t ever bombard your network with private messages or emails. If you don’t get a response straight away, try to be patient. Your connections could be busy, so wait three days before sending a friendly follow-up email.
When communicating online, try to address your connections by their preferred name. And try to avoid any language that could cause offense.
Remember, people in your network could be a reference for your next job. If you’re professional, they’ll be more likely to recommend you.
If you want to grow your professional network, think about the type of connections that will be a good match for your goals.
You can ask your friends if they have any connections they could introduce you to. And, you can join professional social media networking sites.
Then, there are networking events. These are online or in person, and you’ll have the chance to meet other people with similar goals when you attend.
Colleagues and managers can be good people to have in your network. If you are looking for a new job, be mindful of who you discuss it with. You may not be ready to discuss your plans with your current employer.
If you want to keep your professional network alive, you’ll need to stay in touch.
One of the easiest ways to stay connected is with social media. You can maintain relationships with your existing connections and make new ones.
Some of your connections will want to meet in person, and this can be one-on-one or in small groups. Being engaged and maintaining regular contact will keep your relationships strong.
If someone helps you succeed in your career, make sure to say thank you. And, if you think some of your connections would benefit from getting to know each other, you should introduce them.
Don’t forget you should always be professional when communicating with your network.
With these tips, you can keep your network alive and make the most of your professional relationships.