Networking is important to every profession. Google the term and the hits are endless. No doubt that it is an important aspect to moving ahead in whatever you do. But to what end? You attend a conference or a networking reception, collect some business cards, shake some hands in hopes of what….being recognized by at another event. That is all well and good but don’t leave potential social networks to chance.
Don’t just join, PARTICIPATE.
Don’t be a passive networker. Use the business card that was handed to you and send the person a follow up email. It’s an impressive step to take. It shows thoughtfulness and an attention to detail. Your contact will want to continue to be in touch because of your ability to communicate and your initiative. Here is a sample note.
Dear Mr. Martinez,
It was a pleasure meeting you at yesterday’s event at the restaurant. I’d love to learn more about your business and how we can help one another with future projects. If you have a moment, please browse my webpage in order to learn more about what I do. I look forward to hearing back from you soon.
Rosann Santos-Elliott, Latinas in Higher Education
Register for webinars, chats and respond to relevant blog posts.
Become a thought leader. Take some time to register for relevant webinars or online chats to allow others in your field get to know you from a business and intellectual perspective. Read blogs and online articles to stay up-to-date on best practices and if given an opportunity comment on those blog posts in a way that positively adds to the conversation.
Volunteer for stretch assignments.
Never get comfortable or complacent in your job, especially if it is your chosen profession. Request a seat on a committee or initiate a new project. It goes a long way with your supervisor and even your supervisor’s supervisor when you voluntarily take the lead to make your place of business better and more efficient.
Why is this so important?
The Hispanic population was 42 million in 2005, 14% of the U.S. population. It is predicted that there will be 128 million Hispanics in 2050, 29% of the population. Latinos will account for 60% of the nation’s population growth from 2005 to 2050. Those of us in leadership roles will be the social capital of the future for young people coming our way in the next three decades. That means we need to have the capital ourselves that will help us lift them as we climb.
To learn more about how to grow your social capital, join me for my webinar on September 23, 2014 from 12pm to 1pm. Register today.