When we relocated, I longed for a sense of community and needed to work on building my network. I decided to think of this like work project. Set a goal, plan it and pursue it instead of hoping.

My goal: to have lunch with one person a week during my first year. Either a new person or someone I reconnected with since I lived in a nearby community twenty years prior.

Even for an extrovert, being in a brand-spanking-new community can be unnerving. I chose to focus on the fact that humans like to connect with one another. This kept me motivated.

Three networking concepts I found that made it easier:

  1. Act like a host.  Practice “host behavior” versus “guest behavior”. When you host a party, you are welcoming and happy to see people.
  2. Take action when you make a good connection. Say, “I’d like to get to know you better because < share what caught your attention>“. Set up a date for lunch or coffee and keep mingling.
  3. Follow through. Email or call your new connection within 24 hours. Be memorable and authentic.

How can you be intentional with developing your network? How will this help you accomplish your goals?