Why You Should Network When You Already Have a Job

March 8, 2021

Keep your network alive

Every time my clients secure a new job, we celebrate… and then we do a debrief.

One question I ask is: “What is the greatest lessons you learned during your search?”

They often reply with something like: “I am going to keep networking because I realized I let it fall apart and that made my job search harder.”

But then they don’t do that and that is unfortunate.

It’s understandable. They become busy very quickly with onboarding into their new role, getting to know their new colleagues, and digging into what they were hired to do.

When they answer my question, they mean well. They have learned the value of staying connected with their network and they want to maintain those connections.

They know the relationships they built during their search were invaluable to finding their job.

However, they don’t see the need right then. They let it lapse, thinking they’ll get back to it later… but then they stay distracted and they never do get back to it.

Another reason why they don’t stay connected to their new network is that they missed the fact that networking is building relationships for a mutual benefit.

It is like a garden that needs watering, weeding, and effort throughout the season. You give to the garden during its growing season, and it will give back to you through the food that grows as a result of your tending.

Keeping your network alive is not only for present needs, but future ones that you don’t even know about. And during the time that you don’t need the help, you can provide support to others.

I think that most people forget that networking is about give and take.

I’m happy to say that not all of my clients forget this lesson.

One of my recent clients clearly understood the importance of staying in touch after she landed in her new job.

Olivia (her real name, used with permission) reached out to me to catch up after being in her new job for 6 months. Not only did Olivia call me, but she also follows me on social media with comments and likes, and she even occasionally shares my posts. She has maintained our relationship long after our work together was complete.

During our conversation, I asked Olivia why she reached out to me.

She said, “You invited me to reach out in six months to let you know how I was doing in my new role.”

I was impressed because that is the advice I give to all of my clients, though few of them follow through. I tell them to reach out to me and also to the other people who helped them in their search.

I was thrilled to hear from her!

We had a great conversation hearing about her role, the challenges she was facing, and she also asked how I was doing as well.

Olivia understands the value and benefit of staying in touch.

Keeping your network alive while you are working is challenging and takes time. What if you find yourself in the job market again? It’ll happen, more than likely than not. Do you want to have a solid network to reach out to for help?

I hope your answer is “Yes!”

One thing I know for sure: It’s easier to find a new job when you have a network that’s already up and running.

The last thing any of us wants to do is start stringing together a new network when times are desperate. That’s an uncomfortable process and honestly, it’s harder to pull together a quality network when you start by asking for help.

Instead: Pull together a network of high-quality contacts when you don’t need it. Support the people in your network with any help you can give, and then they’ll be there when you need to do the asking.

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