We’re bombarded on Linkedin and Email with people offering services for pain points we don’t have; we become numb to all people knocking on our door.

The result of all this noise is most people ignore or close the door on everything when in fact you might be hurting your career by not building a network.

The other thing I see wrong is we’re so isolated by our career and other activities, we don’t invest in a network. So many of the people I’ve met soon realize that is their demise when they need a network to further their career opportunities.

My advice to you is to find a way to triage the unwanted messages you get and delete those. The rest of the ones that seem like real humans, be open to vetting them if they’re open to just getting to know each other and schedule those conversations. More importantly, if it’s an old colleague who you were on good terms on, most definitely open the door and let them in.

Just yesterday, I had a conversation from someone I worked with over 15 years ago and it was like we never stopped talking. The conversation flowed and the experience was rewarding. Whether we connect again or not, it was memorable and that is enough.

Another person was brave enough to accept my invitation to connect; someone in my field and I was curious about them. The conversation was amazing and I am pleased to have found my next inspirational leader to drop in on my podcast. I never would have found such talent unless a) I was curious and sent the invite and b) the individual being open to networking and unknown possibilities.

Oh, and one other piece of advice… never burn a bridge.

Sometimes we leave bad cultures or bosses and leave behind people. Nurture those relationships too. I have found career and business opportunities from people that reconnect with me after 5-10 years. These have been some of the best opportunities I’ve experienced.

Be open to receiving new invites, be proactive in seeking new connections and always nurture the ones from the past. This is your networking capitol at work and your best in vestment in your future.

If you haven’t figured it out, I’m a huge proponent of networking. After being in business over 5 years, this has been one of the pillars of staying viable.

If we have not met, this is an open invitation to connect and form real human connection.

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Until we meet, I wish you well and much success! – Deb