Why it’s important to maintain your network

January 17, 2010 at 9:29 pm Leave a comment

Most of us have had the experience of hearing from someone we used to know or with whom we used to work who hasn’t been in touch for a while — until they’re job hunting! And though based on the strength of the previous connection we still may be willing to help, most people are much more likely to put real energy into helping those who have been in touch in good times as well as when they need us.

Let this be a lesson: Your network is not something you should worry about enlarging and maintaining only when you’re searching for a job or think your current job may be vulnerable. Making new contacts and keeping up with those already in your network is something you should be doing all the time. Here are some tips from networking pros on why and how to keep your network strong on a regular basis:

*Don’t just ask for help, but give it. It only stands to reason that you will be a more valuable contact to those in your network if they can rely on your help not only for them, but for their friends and colleagues. So when you’re in a position to do so pass along tips, advice, job leads and information that contacts may find useful. (And ideas for group efforts like this blog are another great way to help!) Obviously, it’s easier to do this via social-networking sites and through email, but try to make the contact as personal as you can; they will remember you better that way. Also, when possible, pick up the phone — even a VoiceMail message is more personal than most forms of online communication. (Just don’t go on too long on the voice message — that can be annoying.)

*Renew contacts. Often when we move on to a new job and a new circle of contacts, we tend to leave the old ones behind. Don’t fall into that pattern. Previous contacts — especially those who were useful in helping you secure a job — are very likely to be useful again in the future. You’ve already done the hard work of finding them and developing the contact, don’t allow it to fall into disrepair. And don’t be put off if sometimes your email or VoiceMail messages aren’t returned. We all know everyone in Washington is busy. If someone doesn’t return one email message, try to find another reason a week or two down the road to be in touch (provide a link to a news story that may provoke their interest, or pass on a bit of news about a former colleague they may not have heard — good news usually gets a response).

*Evaluate your network and target your energies accordingly. For instance, if several members of your network are very plugged-in and have been quite useful in passing along job leads and ideas, make sure to give them an appropriate amount of attention in turn. If others — even though they may be “names” in your field — are fair-weather contacts, you don’t have to abandon them but neither should you focus a lot of your networking attention in their direction.

*Try to network in person whenever possible. This is a tough one for busy professionals but job hunters ignore it at their own peril. Those contacts with whom you develop a personal connection — and usually one made in person, over a cup of coffee or at a networking event or a conference — are much more likely to remember you and follow up on your requests than those to who you are just an email address on a screen. At the start of each month as you put together your calendar, find and RSVP to at least one networking event and try to set up coffee, lunch or drinks with another one to two contacts. If you’re job hunting, the number of in-person contacts should be much higher — this is how you’re likely to find your next position!

*Speaking of networking, Northwestern’s D.C. alumni club is planning this upcoming event (friends of alumni are welcome) that could be of interest to job hunters or those who want to make shifts in their career:

Your Career in 2010
– Reinventing and Motivating Yourself for Success

If searching for meaningful work, reflecting on your motivations, or considering a career change are on your to-do list this year, this is exactly where you need to be. NU alums and bestselling career authors Alexandra Levit and Daniel Pink will inspire, empower, and challenge you to take your career to the next level – with time for you to ask questions afterward! Thursday, February 18, 2010, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, presentation 7pm, Winston and Strawn 1700 K St. NW, 12th Floor. Cost $10-$25.  See http://yourcareer2010.nuclubdc.com for additional information.


*As always, some leads. Today’s include some free-lance opportunities, an internship possibility and some leads for full-time work in the D.C. area.

*CBS Interactive is looking for business news bloggers for its business news and analysis site:


CBS Interactive
Blogger
Location: N/A
CBS Interactive is expanding its roster of creative and energetic bloggers at BNET Industries (http://industry.bnet.com), its flagship business news and analysis site. We cover sectors ranging from autos and finance to healthcare, media and technology for a sophisticated but general-interest business readership. We’re looking for freelance writers who can turn out sharp and original takes on business news of the day as well as deeper analysis and insights into otherwise overlooked or unreported developments. An ideal candidate would be ready to post several times a day in order to take maximum advantage of the running room CBS Interactive can provide. Please send a resume and relevant blogging and reportage clips to David Hamilton, BNET senior editor, at david.hamilton@cbs.com

*GX is looking for free-lance contributors for the upcoming U.S. launch of it monthly magazine:


GX
Freelance Contributors
Location: N/A
GX is the leading international poker, betting and lifestyle title amongst men aged 18 to 40 in Germany, Spain, China and the UK, and, in early 2010 will be launching in the US. GX (www.gamblingexclusive.com) is a monthly magazine that brings together quality lifestyle content on: travel, cars, sports, music and gadgets, as well as gaming content, which will include interviews and features on the industry’s top players, advice, tips & strategy and a host of current news stories from the world of poker and betting.  GX are currently seeking US-based contributors with a passion for gaming, poker, sports, cars, games, music and more. So if you are a talented, reliable writer looking to build a folio of published work – get in touch. Please send through one to two samples of previous and related writing (published or otherwise) and a little bit about yourself and your writing background to kay@gamblingexclusive.com

*New Partners is seeking a spring intern (a stipend is available!) to work out of its D.C. office:

New Partners, a progressive, full service political consulting firm with specialties in strategic advising/consulting, communications, research, fundraising/development and field/grassroots strategy, seeks spring interns for the finance department of our firm’s Washington, DC office.  Interns will work on a variety of nonprofit, foundation and political clients and will be provided a stipend.  Please visit www.newpartners.com for more information on the firm.

Candidates should possess strong oral and written communication skills, solid organizational skills and attention to detail, and sound political instincts.  He or she must also have the ability to work independently, meet tight deadlines, and balance multiple projects at once.  All candidates should be familiar with Microsoft Office suite.

Candidates should be current college or graduate students, or recent graduates.  To apply, please email resume and cover letter to young@newpartners.com.

Ideal Candidate Will Possess the Following Qualifications:

•        Ability to digest and condense information into user friendly summaries

•        Basic knowledge of campaign finance rules

•        Working knowledge of fundraising and research resources: Nexis, NGP, tray.com, opensecrets.org

Responsibilities:

•         Assist finance staff with day to day projects including: donor research, call sheet production, briefing and memo writing, and fundraising calls

•         Maintain and update call lists and donor databases

•         Participate in and staff fundraising events

•         Provide administrative support

*The Brookings Institution in D.C. is looking for an outreach manager (the hat tip on these last two listings is journalismjobs.com):

Company: The Brookings Institution
Position:
Outreach Manager, Brookings
Location:
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires:
February 19, 2010
Job ID: 1143283
Website: http://www.Brookings.edu

Description:
The Brookings Institution is a private nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and innovative policy solutions. Established in 1916, Brookings analyzes current and emerging issues and produces new ideas that matter – for the nation and the world.

The Brookings Institution seeks to fill an Outreach Manager position. The Outreach Manager is responsible for assisting in the creation and implementation of strategy to raise funds and enhance media coverage for the John L. Thornton China Center in the Foreign Policy (FP) program; conduct development and media outreach. To view the complete job description, please visit: http://www.brookings.edu/about/employment/CHI9157.aspx?p=1

Excellent benefits include five weeks of vacation per year, partial educational reimbursement, and access to research seminars and briefings. Near Dupont Circle Metro. Salary: $40,000-65,000, commensurate with experience.

EOE M/F/H/V

Additional Qualifications: Education/Experience Requirements Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree preferred, preferably in international communications, marketing, political science, or related fields. Minimum four years relevant professional work experience required (external affairs, communications, marketing, development, or similar field). Experience with media and donors interested in foreign policy and international affairs, and experience working with both American and Chinese business culture and media preferred.

Knowledge Requirements Fluency in English and Mandarin Chinese required (writing, reading, and speaking). Familiarity with foreign policy issues and international relations. Knowledge of contemporary Chinese social, political, and economic issues, including relations with the United States. Superior qualitative writing and editing ability, excellent organizational and communication skills, proficiency in Internet research and standard office software programs, ability to prioritize in a heavy-workload environment. Must possess initiative, discretion, mature judgment, entrepreneurial spirit, and the ability to be good team player. Applicants must be currently authorized to work for any employer in the United States.

How to Apply: E-mail (foreignpolicyjobs@brookings.edu) resume and cover letter to the Hiring Manager. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please.

*And SmartBrief in D.C. has an opening for a health editor:

Company: SmartBrief, Inc.
Position:
Health Editor
Location:
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires:
February 18, 2010
Job ID: 1143139

Description:
Full-time health editor

SmartBrief is seeking a full-time editor to help create daily online business and consumer news e-mail publications in the health industry. Applicant must have two to five years of experience writing or editing health news. If you love to edit material and shape content, and thrive in a fast-paced, deadline-intensive work environment, you’ll fit right in. This position includes both writing and editing duties, with a heavy focus on editing. Other job duties include cultivating industry expertise and client relationship management. This position is located in SmartBrief’s Washington, D.C., office.

Selected applicants will be asked to complete a timed writing and editing test.

Job Duties: • Edit summaries for inclusion in SmartBrief’s health newsletters for grammar, style and tone for a particular audience. • Manage off-site freelancers. • Use online publishing tools to create e-mail newsletters and other content. • Manage relationships with associations, corporations and other business clients as well as content providers. • Respond to reader comments and suggestions. • Participate in cross-departmental projects as needed. Required Skills & Experience: • Proven writing and editing skills. Alternative: Three to five years of experience in a communications or research role with a news organization, consulting firm, trade association or other relevant group. • Ability to write and edit quickly and accurately on deadline. • Sophisticated understanding of how to find news and information for a particular audience. • Facility for using online publishing tools. • Strong interpersonal and communications skills. • Proven record of taking initiative, sharing responsibilities and managing multiple projects simultaneously. • Ability to analyze reader trends and statistics.

About SmartBrief:

SmartBrief is a leading online business publisher of 100-plus industry-specific daily business news services. By combining our proprietary technology with human intelligence, we deliver digestible knowledge to keep industry decision-makers abreast of their industries.

We’re expanding rapidly and looking for exceptional, motivated talent to join our team. At SmartBrief, employees enjoy an entrepreneurial work environment with accelerated advancement opportunities. We offer competitive compensation along with outstanding benefits, including stock options, 401(k), and 100% company-paid health care.

SmartBrief is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Please e-mail resumes to jobs@smartbrief.com. Place the following in the subject line: SmartBrief Health Editor. Candidates must include (in body of email) most recent position held and salary requirements.

Happy hunting!

Jodi

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