April 27, 2021
Have you ever scrolled through the contact list on your phone and found a name that you couldn’t place? I had to scroll only to the letter “B” for that to happen to me, and I’m confident there are many more instances in the rest of the alphabet.
Since we’re in the season of Spring – and Spring Cleaning – this got me thinking about cleaning up not only my contact list to delete contacts who I no longer need to have at my fingertips, but also to look at my professional network to ensure I’m staying actively connected with my connections. As we’ve all heard many times, the best time to create your network is before you need a network. But a network – like a garden – needs nurturing and cultivating to maximize its value.
So how do you Spring Clean your network? It would be easiest to do using your LinkedIn contacts. From a quick web search, the average number of LinkedIn connections is 930. There’s probably at least 50 of those with whom you’re in regular contact, but how long has it been since you’ve been in contact with any of those past your top 50 connections?
For example, are there people in your network who have changed jobs or received promotions? What a great time to reach out to them and offer them congratulations!
Maybe you’ve changed companies. Now’s the time to reach out to people in your new company to connect with them on LinkedIn. It’s also time to update your LinkedIn Profile and let others know about your exciting new gig! If you’ve changed industries, look through your network for people who are in your new industry and reach out to them to get their advice. And for those who have moved during the pandemic, reach out to others in your new area to let them know you are there and get their tips on life in your new town.
And some folks will have retired over the past year. Just because they’re retired doesn’t mean they’ve lost their vast wealth of wisdom, so reach out to them and see how their new lives are going, ask for their guidance and get inspired!
I’ve found that reconnecting with folks in my network is a valuable use of my time, gives me new perspectives, and reenergizes me. So reach out to someone today with whom you haven’t been in contact for a while. You’ll be glad you did.