What many of us do not realize about networking is that it is not necessarily just about getting a job. It is about establishing a community to guide you on your career path, provide feedback, and ultimately help you grow as a professional. Here are some tips to help you network successfully:

Explore making contacts outside of your company. Join career-oriented groups and attend career-related events to find professionals who share your interests. Networking can be fun rather than a chore.

Remember this is a two way street. You are starting a new relationship with this contact. Consider both what you need from them and ways you can help them in return.

Be courteous with your contacts and always be conscious of their time. A thank you note is a nice way of letting them know how appreciative you are for their time and attention.

Stay in contact. Keep the communication going by touching base occasionally to tell them of your progress, and congratulate them on their progress.

Remember, any new acquaintance could become a possible contact!