Maintaining a network can seem like a daunting task. It may be difficult to determine the amount of interaction needed to remain in contact without becoming overbearing. Additionally, spending hours and hours to make contact can be a waste of time. One of the most important aspects of maintaining a network is staying in contact and not waiting until you need something. Here are some tips for easily maintaining a network.
Share interesting articles – Getting to know what interests there are in your network can go a long way to helping maintain contact. If an article is found that highlights the interest area of someone you know sending the paper along to the individual with a short note can help provide connections and they may start sending papers your way when they read something that reminds them of you.
Congratulate them on papers – Along the same lines as sharing papers that might interest your network, it is also a good idea to congratulate them on papers they may have published and ask them questions about their work.
Ask how you can help them – Networking goes both ways and you should not be selfish and think only about how this can help you. Helping someone professionally or personally will make them more likely to help you in the future.
Go get coffee – Keeping in contact can be as simple as having a coffee to discuss professional and personal life events.
Inform them about social events – The more you can interact with those in your network the better you will know them and they in turn will know you. Meeting them at social events can improve the bond and they may just think of you when the next job opening occurs.
Always Follow up – When you make a new contact always be sure to follow up with them after the initial contact.
Maintaining a professional network does not need to be overcomplicated. Using these suggestions above you can stay in touch with your network and make lasting professional connections.
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.