Whether you are looking for a new legal job in 2014 or looking to grow your practice by developing new business, networking with your professional contacts is instrumental. However, one challenge for lawyers is finding the time for professional networking. As a result, they end up rushing to network with professional contacts the moment they need something from those contacts, like an introduction to a potential employer or client, rather than nurturing the relationships with the contacts.
One solution for time-starved lawyers is to create a system for maintaining contact with professional contacts they met at a prior point in their lives. What about #ThrowbackThursday, a single day each week where lawyers correspond with a one to three professional contacts from the past?
You may have participated in #ThrowbackThursday on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram where social media users post photos from the past on Thursdays and tag the photos with #ThrowbackThursday or #TBT. Why not use this simple system that you already use in your personal life to stay connected with key contacts in your professional life as well. On each Thursday of the remaining months of 2014, commit to contacting someone you know from a prior point in your life who also serves as a professional contact. For example, you might try the following approach:
1st Thursday – College Alumni.
On the first Thursday of each month, contact at least three college friends who are also lawyers or business executives who hire lawyers.
2nd Thursday – Law School Alumni.
On the second Thursday of each month, contact at least three law school classmates. Plan to contact two classmates who practice at firms and could be referral sources for you and one classmate who works in the legal department of a corporation and could be a referral source or potential client.
3rd Thursday – Former Colleague.
On the third Thursday of each month, contact someone you previously worked with—a former boss, colleague, secretary or client; these contacts could be from a full-time, summer or part-time position.
4th Thursday – Prior Communication.
On the fourth Thursday of each month, scroll through old emails or LinkedIn messages to find a professional contact you haven’t corresponded with in at least three months and reconnect.
Your communication with the various contacts outlined above can range from sending the contact an article or blog post of interest to scheduling lunch, coffee or dinner with the contact to inviting the contact to attend an event with you. Your options are endless; the key is that you commit to setting aside one day each week, Thursday, to nurture your relationships from the past so they can help advance in your legal career in 2014 and beyond.
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