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December 2009
How Can You Network If You Don’t Know Anyone?
by Susan Reynolds

Short answer:  You can’t.  More helpful answer for a productive career:  You can’t. 

Whether you are seeking a new career, or working to build a successful business, you must systematically and judiciously build a network of connections.  Plus, it’s a two-way street.  You need to BE a good connection for others as well.  Up until this rugged economy took its hold, many professionals were skating along without really paying a whole lot of attention to their business and personal connections.  Opportunities simply fell into their laps.  This has often now proved perilous, as what limited opportunities there are to go around are being rewarded to those who are “connected”.  Yes, it’s who you know.

Be a good business “citizen”.  Be alert to every level of the business community, from the local economy to international concerns.  No matter your politics, nurture relationships with your representatives.  Stay in tune with the news.  I meet many executives who are very limited in their information gathering.  Even if you don’t always agree with their viewpoints, at least know who makes the news and who reports the news, both locally and beyond.  These will be the beginnings of good sources for your business needs.

Stay in touch with your own old contacts:  coworkers, subordinates, bosses, vendors, and customers alike.  You’ll need them, and they’ll need you!  Research and join appropriate business groups.  Be participative in filling community needs.  Choose charitable groups that serve a mission about which you care, and roll up your sleeves.  Know your neighbors (both residential and professional!)  Fabulous connections come from the most surprising and humble sources, so certainly don’t be elitist in your mindset!

Isn’t it interesting how being a participative citizen, can lead to career and business prosperity?

Susan Reynolds is a senior partner at Newmarket Careers in Santa Clarita, a job search and career strategy firm geared toward managerial, executive, and senior level professional careers.  She can be reached at or

Other Job and Career Success Related Articles:
Job Search Getting You Down?

How to Make Job Fairs Productive

Danger! How to Lose a Job Offer Because of the Internet!

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