I struggled a bit to find a name for this blog post because the concept is so clear to me, so straightforward, that I risk being boring (not a risk I like to take and yet a state I probably achieve sometimes, to my dismay). Yet, when I speak to people and observe how they behave, I’m reminded that the topic I write about now is critically important to all and, unfortunately, neglected by many.

What I’m referring to here is forming and maintaining an active professional network. I write above that this is neglected often, and I’m sure it’s because we’re all so busy with work and with our home lives. It’s certainly more of a pull to attend to our most pressing needs, and not pay attention to people with whom we don’t have to actively be in contact.

But we never know when our network will come in handy – to answer a question we may have; to help make a contact or close a sale; and especially to help with a job search when we’re ready for one.

So, I actively urge you to consider networking a regular part of your job. Join and participate in professional associations; reach out to past clients and even to prospects that never became clients; correspond with past colleagues. Of course, LinkedIn and Facebook can help here, as can multiple other internet sites, but also use e-mail and even the phone… and show up to professional meetings now and again.

The bottom line – stay connected! You never know when being part of a community or a one-on-one professional relationship will help you achieve your goals. And, I’ll add, you’ll appreciate the good feelings that come from helping others achieve theirs.