We all know that having a plan is a cornerstone to developing your robust professional network. We also know that having a good plan allows you to be even more effective in carrying out your networking activities. More importantly we know that the foundation of any good plan no matter what it is for is about having goals, being really clear on what you are trying to achieve and the desired outcome that you want. Establishing clear and achievable goals that will enable you to build and maintain your professional network is no different. The same rules apply.
As you create, review or even revise your network or networking goals take into consideration the following to ensure that you are successful in accomplishing the desired outcomes that you want:
Your Network Goals Have A Purpose
Ask yourself, “What am I trying to achieve with this goal?” If you cannot answer that question then you should rethink your goal. You should be crystal clear on why the goal is important to you and what it will help you to achieve as you build or maintain your network. This is often one of the major pitfalls of maintaining a robust network. We don’t think about what the goal will help us to accomplish and jump right into action later discovering or wondering why the goal we set wasn’t accomplished.
They Are Granular Enough To Be Accomplished
There is no need to try to boil the ocean. Developing as well as maintaining your network takes time and occurs over time. The clearer and more specific you can become with your goal in what you are trying to achieve the higher the probability that you will achieve it. Often breaking down the steps and details to actionable tasks ensures that the goals will be accomplished. Also breaking down the steps allows you to review and make the appropriate course corrections where or at what step taking specific action is needed.
Your Goals Represent Your Desired Outcome(s)
People often lose their way at the onset as well as when they continue to develop their network. Why, because they never took the time at the beginning to think through the desired end results. We often start from the beginning and then go step by step ultimately trying to reach a specific end goal or more importantly hoping that we do. Rather than thinking about “Step One”, then “Step Two” followed by three and so on, the premise is that you start with the end goal in mind. This is akin to assessing one’s network in which you think about what you would like the network to look like for the future and then build it. Identifying what is a desired end-goal or that last step then working backwards increases success. Not only does this force you to think through what you ultimately want to achieve, but also the approach you need to take based on your desired outcome.
Goals overall are important and especially key as you develop or maintain your professional network. This is about increasing the probability of your success. Take the time to put your goals in place then go about executing on them and course correct as needed.
Here’s to building a successful network. Make sure you celebrate each goal or accomplishment.
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