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What is the best way to continue professional relationships and networks with individuals that you've work with via employment, volunteering, or events?

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John’s Answer

Christiana, the simple fact is, if you want your career to go places and you want to ensure that you hear about every possible opportunity, LinkedIn is a GREAT tool for building professional relationships.

Networking becomes a little clearer if we give it a different name: professional relationship building. It’s all about getting out there (both on and offline), meeting people who work in your profession or your future industry, and building a relationship with them. Among the social networks.

LinkedIn can be one of the most useful when it comes to cultivating critical, lucrative business opportunities, since it has a high concentration of business decision makers. The goal of networking is to create a professional network. That means a group of professional contacts you know well enough to call in a favour from and for whom you wouldn’t object doing a favour. It’s as simple as that.

Christiana, my suggestion is to join targeted groups: This can be one of the most effective ways to connect with like-minded professionals who are serious about using LinkedIn to form deeper business connections, volunteering, discussions groups and. Participating in these groups also enables you to share your knowledge and to learn from other members.

Christiana here are some tips to creating a professional LinkedIn profile that will get you noticed.

John recommends the following next steps:

Start with a professional photo – Keep it professional.
Summary Section – Use bullets to list 5–6 of your biggest achievements.
Experience Section – did you know that you can add volunteering videos to your experience.
Profile Section – This includes skills, volunteer associations, education, Honers & Awards, etc.
Ask for recommendations – Endorsements are great, but recommendations are the currency of the realm on LinkedIn.

Thank you John, this was a very helpful and informative response. Christiana O.

Good luck in all that comes your way in the future Christiana. John Frick

Volunteering for us is about giving towards building the foundation of someone else’s future. I appreciate your kindness Abedel-Hameed. Thank you John Frick

Thank You, Aun – “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill John Frick

Thank You, Miriam – “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Gandhi John Frick

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Dexter’s Answer

Hi Christiana,

For me, I just schedule bi-weekly or monthly 1 hour meetings with the people I've liked working with the most. Some I have lunches with, as they are local; and some I have phone or video calls with as they're all the way across the country. One friend who I met through work, even though she lives in Boston and I live in California, we have helped each other though life for the past 7 years. I currently have 7 people I have meetings with on a regular basis (besides people I manage) and I look forward to each one of them.

Relationships deepen with time spent together, so anyone you find inspiring, I would recommend finding a way to spend time with them. These one hour meetings are an easy way to keep up with each other and form deeper bonds, which can enrich our lives.

--
Dexter

Oh wow, thank you for sharing your personal experience, this was really helpful. I do agree, it definitely takes time but the timeline you gave helps to guide me a lot more. Christiana O.

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Megan’s Answer

Hi Christiana,

Great question! To echo the others, LinkedIn is a great way to stay in contact.

If you've had the opportunity to get to know these contacts personally, I'd suggest adding them as a contact in your phone and use the Notes field to log some formal and informal topics you've discussed (ie. kids, hobbies, area of expertise)...that way, if you reach out, you have some connection points to use.

Best of luck!

Wow, that's a great tip. Thank you so much. Christiana O.

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Mary Jane’s Answer

This is a great question and shows forward thinking on your part and goal setting! I agree, Linked In is the perfect location as long as you keep posting and updating your profile. When you leave employment or volunteer opportunities, ask if you can stay in touch on a professional basis as you continue your career. Ask if they would be a mentor for you in the future, if you feel you connected with the person. As you move from one job or volunteer opportunity, remember to send a thank you note or email and acknowledge what you learned from the experience and how you will apply it in the future.

Focus on how you grow the relationship. Maintain contact on a regular basis, every few months or when something special occurs. Great leaders want to see you succeed. When you have accomplished something, share with former supervisors and thank them again for helping you on your career journey.

Happy Networking!!!!

Mary Jane recommends the following next steps:

Set up Linked In profile
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Roxane’s Answer

Hi there Christiana,

I am happy to help with some advice :)

I often find that connecting with those people who have a strong mutual interest in the same things that you do makes the process of keeping in touch and maintaining that professional relationship much easier.
Linkedin is a great resource to use when meeting someone in a professional setting as it's pretty much the 'facebook' of the business world. It's a great platform to direct people to especially when you're in a crowded event or in a rushed environment. If someone can remember your name (or vice versa), it's easy to find you on Linkedin.

Once you have established that initial connection a great way to maintain it is to introduce those people with common interests and form groups . What that does is create a continued dialogue and opportunity to meet more often with those people that you have connected with. More often than not, you tend to form much stronger personal relationships with those same people as you are consistently sharing and engaging.
Finding opportunities to meet, and other events etc are great ways to maintain the professional relationship.
Sharing relevant content with those people, whether it be via Linkedin or other social networking platforms will help build much stronger bonds.

I hope this helps!
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Xavier’s Answer

Just be human. Build real relationships. Ask them about life or different plans that they might have. Let them know about ideas that you have, and see if they are interested in helping you.

Sending a handwritten letter to someone you worked with (even if it's just to check up on them), let's people know you care.
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Olubukola’s Answer


Hello Christiana,

For me, the best way to continue professional relationships and networks with individuals that you've work with is by connecting with such individuals on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn a great tool for building and sustaining professional relationships.

You can continue to engage with such individuals by liking, sharing and commenting on their posts.

I hope this helps!
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Aicha’s Answer

Hello Christiana!

I would say to make sure you get their contact information while you are volunteering with them. You can email or call them once a month depending on how busy they are. I feel like monthly contacts are good because they are not too often to the point where it seems as if you are pestering them. You may ask them what they have been up to and you may share some new work things or whatever it is you want to talk about. These meetings don't have to be super long. Maybe an hour or two is fine, but i think these are just a few ways to keep in contact with the people you have networked with.

I hope this helps!

Thank you for your response, I will definitely act on that. There are also contacts that I haven't connected with since the event (e.g. several months), that I would love to reconnect with. How do you suggest going about that? Christiana O.

You could send them an email, and just explain that you have not been in contact with them for a while and just tell them whatever it is you want. You can say like you want to continuing networking with them. If they do not reply back just give them some time because they can be busy people, but don't be discouraged if you never hear back just focus on making new connections. Aicha Moustapha

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Geraldine’s Answer

Networking and building relationships with people you've come across in jobs, volunteering and events is so important. In seeking jobs, I've come across it's "who you know" that has helped me in my experiences. Nowadays, social media has made it easy to connect with colleagues and of course phone calls and e-mails!
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