10 Ways to Build a Productive Professional Network

Last Updated Oct 31, 2008 9:28 AM EDT

1824234195_e6b913c563_m1.jpgWhether you're afraid of getting fired or are about to be promoted, having a solid professional network behind you is a necessity, says Dan on Newly Corporate. He offers ten tips to check the health of your network -- and these same tips can help you get started if you are building a group of connections from the ground up.
  1. Make sure your network includes an executive. You'll never get to the top unless you know people at the top.
  2. Avoid stagnation by constantly building relationships. Have you connected with someone from another company or industry in the last 30 days? If not, get moving.
  3. Get a mentor. This is a good way to learn from someone's experience at no cost.
  4. Mentor someone else. You'd be amazed how much you can learn from someone coming up the ladder.
  5. Find a champion. Someone one or two rungs above you in the corporate ladder of your own company can be an effective advocate come promotion time.
  6. Keep your connections up-to-date. Let your network know what you've been doing lately. LinkedIn is a great way to do this, but other social media like Twitter or Facebook work as well.
  7. Check in about career opportunities. This is the only way to keep abreast of insider jobs your network may know about.
  8. Ensure that your profile is current. Update your LinkedIn details regularly.
  9. Make sure your references are recent. If you haven't spoken with the people listed on your resume in over 18 months, find new references.
  10. Consider connecting with a headhunter or recruiter. Because you just never know when you'll need one.
(image by luc legay via Flickr, CC 2.0)
  • CC Holland

    CC Holland is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a number of national magazines. Online, she was a columnist for AnchorDesk.com and writes regularly for Law.com and BNET. On the other side of the journalism desk, she's been a managing editor for ZDNet, CNet, and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, where she earned an APTRA Best News Web Site award.