One of the maxims I live by is, never take your network for granted. Building a long-term, collaborative network is a daily activity that requires you to both consciously cultivate and nurture your existing relationships and develop new ones. In fact, the best time for you to work on maintaining the contacts you have and developing new resources is when you already have a job and are in a good place emotionally.
All too often, people only reach out to others when they need something like a job, a contact, or a resource. In many cases, this is too late. Steven Covey, puts it so well. He says relationships are like banking: they require deposits before withdrawals. And it is much easier to make “relationship deposits” when you are in a position of strength.
So wherever you are in your life or career right now, ask yourself if you are investing in the people around you. Are you being as helpful and as interested in them as you should be? Are you going out of your way to see how you can be a resource to them?
Time is precious, but even so, it’s still worth it to attend networking events and reach out to new people. Don’t wait until you need something, because it may be too late.
So, take yourself off auto-pilot and make a point of continuing to invest in your relationships, so that when you need something or someone, you are not withdrawing from an empty account!