A network is a wonderful thing!  One thing the economic recession has taught professionals:  no one really has job security.  So, you need to strengthen your safety net – your network!

Here are 4 key tips for successful networking during an economic recession.

  1. So, there are hiring freezes.  Thawing will happen.  And, when it does, make sure that you are the FIRST thought in someone’s mind.  Keep reaching out and making new contacts.  Position yourself in the forefront.
  2. Making face-to-face contacts can be expensive – with meal costs and conference fees.  Choose wisely.  Find out where you can go and what you can do for free.  (For Indy nonprofit professionals, check out my calendar.)
  3. A recession is not the time to retreat back into your turtle shell.  Do not isolate yourself professionally.  Ask others how you can be of assistance to them.  Also, ask your contacts, “Who else should I be speaking with about this?”
  4. Cultivate contacts in your network just like you would donors.  Remember those gift policies about recognition within 48 hours?  Be sure to send an email thank you immediately.  Then, send a handwritten thank you note.  This is not the time to be stingy with your time!

Some of these suggestions are based off of a conference call, hosted last week by the  Education Committee of the Alumni Association for the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

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What are your suggestions for networking during a recession?  Please leave a comment.