Network with Gratitude to Gain Altitude
by Chris Barton, President & Founder
The importance of effective, vibrant, personal and professional networks cannot be overstated. The first ever survey of LinkedIn members published by Anderson Analytics reflects that those with larger networks through LinkedIn earn more than those who have smaller networks. Should this be a surprise to anyone? One would certainly hope not! More specifically, the survey states that those with personal incomes between $200,000 and $350,000 are seven times more likely to have 150 or more LinkedIn contacts compared to those professionals who made less money.
Hmmm. You can’t resist doing the math (while it’s probably not the intended use of the survey) that a single LinkedIn contact could be worth somewhere between $1,300 – $2,300 per year in annual income! This is probably overstated for the example but the point made is clear. Professional networks and, more importantly, the relationships involved are very valuable indeed.The question that we have to ask ourselves deep down inside where only we can hear that still small voice is this, “What have I done lately to show the people who support me professionally how much I appreciate their role in my success?” The answer to this important question cannot be a big “Zero” or “Nada”. Our professional persona, and thus our career, both gain altitude when we opt for thoughtful consideration of the people who make it all possible. While there are many, many ways to show your gratitude for your colleagues and mentors, here are six practical and inexpensive ways to accomplish the mission:
- On a monthly basis pick 10 contacts in LinkedIn that will be your focus contacts. Reach out to these 10 and schedule a brief catch up call to say thank you.
- Keep an eye on trends and news related to your networking contacts and forward along valuable information when you have it.
- Acknowledge a recent promotion, educational achievement, or job change with a hand written note. It’s easy for anyone to blast off an email. Handwritten notes are impressive.
- Use the old holiday-card-thank-you-trick! A great end of year reflection process is to thank all those that support your business or career.
- Play matchmaker! Introduce one of your valued contacts to someone you know that may help them in their career.
- Give special treatment to your top 5 relationships. These are the folks that have helped to make or break your career. Take them out for a cup of coffee or lunch every 6 months to keep it warm and productive.
Implementing these simple tips can have a powerful impact in showing your colleagues that you care about them as much, if not more than, you care about your own success. These regular relationship account “deposits” truly are the keys to getting everything you want out of your life and your career. If you build your network with gratitude you’ll have all the professional altitude that you can handle.