Past Issues

March 23, 2009

Maintaining and building your network

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Maintaining and building your network is key

By The Pachera Group Executive Search

Be honest. How much time do you devote to building your personal or business network? Do you spend 15 minutes a day? Ok, how about 30 minutes a week?

Make Time To Network Online and Offline

If you answered yes to the latter, don't worry because you are in good company. Most people spend 60 minutes or less a month on maintaining or building their network. It's not that people don't want to have hundreds of movers and shakers in their network. It's just that the stuff of life gets in the way and pushes this extremely important task to the back burner. Actually, "task" isn't quite the right word...networking is more rightly called a "discipline".

"Job seekers and executives routinely admit that one of their regrets (prior to losing their job or quitting a job they didn't like) was that they ignored their network," says Mike Vanneman, partner with The Pachera Group, an executive recruiting firm. "All of a sudden, they look at contacts in their Blackberry, Outlook or (gasp!) their dog-eared day planner and realize the only people in their "network" are family members, former classmates or people with whom they would have preferred to lose touch."

Networking Must Be One Of Your Top Priorities

Building and maintaining your network has to become a top to-do item! At the very least, once a week and ideally every day. Why? Because your network is tantamount to food, water and shelter! It is an asset that pays dividends in the present and in the future. For this reason, it's a good idea to consider investing in one or a couple time saving online job search tools. This way your time can be focused on expanding your network and getting out there meeting new people.

The good news is that the rise and popularity of sites such as LinkedIn, Plaxo Pulse and even Facebook makes building a network easy and even fun.

All you need to do is:

1. Make the decision to start or restart your networking efforts

2. Commit yourself to networking at least one hour per week and ideally for 15 minutes each day

3. Set a goal for how many contacts or connections you want to establish each month

Networking Requires Constant Care and Nurturing

While networking online, be somewhat selective. Invite people that you either already know or who have been recommended to you by a trusted friend. Be careful of what you post on your page. Whatever you post is there for all to see! Be consistent with your online message and professional profiles. Networking sites are like gardens, they require constant care, feeding and nurturing. Don't let content stay up for too long. Change your profile picture periodically. Contribute to conversations and join discussion groups in your industry.

Use Time Saving Job Search Tools

Using online networking sites and job search time-saver tools should become as much a part of your personal workflow as e-mail and your mobile phone. Maintaining and expanding your network on a daily basis is essential especially in today's times because you never know when you may need to reach out and connect with someone.

The Pachera Group Executive Search works with technology and media clients nationally in search of sales, marketing, business development and technology leaders. Their unique advantage is their partners --- they have all been successful operational executives in the fields they now practice in. Learn more at or

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