Building Your Professional Network
Networking is a process of building relationships to expand your career knowledge and advance your professional development and social opportunities. It also gives you the chance to invest in the opportunities or others. Networking can happen at any time, any where you are - at the grocery store, online, or at work.
Once you make the initial connection, you must maintain your network so that your connections become and stay fruitful over time. The strongest network is one strengthened by time and trust. To begin the trust-building process, it may take 6 months to 2 years. To build trust, you must show that you are trust worthy. This means that you follow-up when you say that you'll follow-up; send the referral if you offer to send the referral, etc.
Do not let your network die due to lack of attention. All it takes is a single email or note to re- establish a connection. In this, holidays or birthdays are great reasons to send a casual communication. Likewise take advantage of special events in your own life, such as promotions, or life events, to send a communication.