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Black Enterprise May 2011 : Page 56

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 —Alfred Edmond Jr. SONIA ALLEYNE’S TIP OF THE MONTH Take Care of Your Network Although there are a number of vehicles that promise access to job opportunities, the leading perception is that more than 85% of jobs acquired are through a connec-tion—directly or indirectly. Today, professionals can expand their network exponentially through social media, but in the end the quality of your network is still more important than the size. How well are you engaging and connecting with the people to which you have access? Remember, successful networking is based on reciprocity. You never want to create a habit of only contacting your network when you need assistance or when you’re in trouble. Find ways to stay in touch by lending your expertise, offering suggestions, and simply reaching out to say hello. Instead of sending out generic comments, schedule time to reach out to individuals to offer information that may be helpful and/or schedule a lunch or dinner. Instead of posting happy birthday on a homepage, list their birthdays on your professional calen-dar and send a card or note. One master networker I know takes photos at every social and professional event she attends. She then puts those images on cards and sends them out for birthdays. Networking is an investment. Putting in quality time always reaps big rewards—and often when you least expect it. CONTACT SONIA ALLEYNE AT work@blackenterprise.com. 56 MAY 2011 • WWW.BLACKENTERPRISE.COM

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