By jessie kornberg • October 13, 2009•Mentoring and Networking
In the first four installments of this series I recommended you:
- Network with people you genuinely enjoy and in activities you find interesting.
- Take advantage of existing networks around you: in your legal market, from your alumnae associations, through affinity groups, and in your bar association's work.
- Don't waste opportunities to make new connections: follow-up for real, by email, by phone, on business cards, and after social and professional events.
- Earn your network's support by being a resource to those within it.
Not surprisingly, this all takes a lot of work and attention. But it does pay dividends. And it gets easier, just like anything, with practice.
In my household growing up there was an expression I liked: a person makes her own luck. Recently I heard an attorney offer a similar sentiment: the harder you work, the luckier you'll be. This is true in so many aspects of the profession, but it's certainly the key to a successful professional network.
Do yourself a favor and set aside a regular period of time each day, week, or month to check in on your networks and work on maintaining and developing connections. It doesn't have to take time away from other work. Have following-up on business cards from a reception earlier in the week be the thing you do in lieu of surfing the web in between focusing on an outline or paper. Make a date with a potential mentor to have coffee near their office - but don't waste time going there and back and breaking up your day, just study at that cafe all afternoon.
Alright ladies, that's it. Get out there and start schmoozing!