Look over your list. Have you been adding to it during your employment? Do you regularly stay in touch with members of your list? If not, create a plan of corrective action.
Start your list with people from your current company. Include both technical and nontechnical contacts. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, expanding your network to nontechnical professionals helps you learn more how the company works as a whole. It also greatly expands your exposure in the organization.
Create a simple location or method to enter and track your professional contacts. A good place to start is to use the Networking & Opportunity Tracker provided on the CD-ROM accompanying this book. Plan a time each week to contact several with a courteous and brief note about your current projects and career steps.
Prioritize those contacts who have particular influence at their companies or who are also likely to have an extensive contact list.
Be familiar enough with your list so that when you recognize opportunities, you can pass them along. This is a great way to be known as a positive networker.
Keep track of when and where people move professionally. Part of the power of networking is that as people move to new companies, you gain a valuable information source for that new organization.