Professional Networking: Get moving – It’s the only way to get going.

by Coaching, College Graduate, General, Job Seeker, Mid-Career

My favorite marketing slogan of all-time is Nike’s iconic, simple yet very effective “Just Do It”. We have all seen it. The commercial spots, magazine spots and online ads have almost become ubiquitous at this point. Spotlights of athletes (and sometimes even transformative cultural figures) who are in constant motion. Often forced to overcome massive obstacles, they are constantly grinding and moving, sweating and pushing themselves toward their goals with unwavering, relentless focus.

The advertisements send a clear message that success starts with action. Without any action, without “doing it”, we’ll never succeed. I couldn’t agree more! I love these spots. They’re usually highly motivational and most of all, they serve as great reminders. In our search for the perfect plan, the ideal process or the proper set of circumstances, we lose sight that our first move forward and the relentless that follows is what truly determines our success.

I’m often asked what I think is the best way to start building a network of fellow professionals who can help you in achieving your career ambitions. Many people recognize the value of networking but don’t know how to create a ring of connections. It’s not easy especially if you are starting from scratch and like many folks, feel out of your element if faced with the task of thoughtfully and purposely connecting with others in a mutually beneficial way.

My suggestion for people who ask me “where do I begin?” is pretty simple: Start. There’s no magic formula or step by step process needed to become a dynamic networker. You simply start. And over time, you will grow a team of followers and allays that will help prole your career forward. But like most things in life, you have to get going if you ever want to really move forward.

Where to begin? How about here:

Use online career networking sites.
Attend networking meetings (online or in person).
Reach out to people you admire and personally connect with them. How can you help them?
Commit to delivering value to everyone you talk to.
Ask questions.
Mess up.
Do over.
Meet people outside your comfort zone.
Create an action list of next steps.
Make more mistakes.
Say the wrong thing.
Stop talking. Limit your personal selling. START listening to others with focus.

You can (and should) try all of the above but most importantly, you simply need to do something.
“Just Do It”.

The tagline isn’t “Just put in the right process” or “Just make sure you’re perfect today” or “Just follow the same path that everyone else is on”. No, the “it” is movement. A relentless, undeterred act of motion. If you mess things up along that way, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to learn and adjust.

Sure, each of us gets to define for ourselves what our end goal is. Maybe you want to start your own networking group or simply want to increase your number of professional contacts. Maybe you want to get a new job or start progressing more quickly in your career. Regardless of whatever you want to accomplish, get moving on making a bit of progress today. You really will never finish what you don’t start.

So commit to yourself today that you’ll “Just Do It”….

stay connected!