Wednesday, February 25, 2009

networking again

Many of us have noticed that we've started hearing from former colleagues, long lost friends, etc. lately, just as the layoffs have hit.  And, yes, these people have been laid off, let go, whatever you want to call it.  HP feels for these folks, but takes this opportunity to return to an earlier point.  Don't wait till something bad happens to network/connect.  This should be something you do all along.   People will be more apt to help you if they don't just hear from you when you are on the street.  Remember, while you need to bill bill bill time (and this is key right now as firms look for layoff targets -- typically those who are "underutilized), you also need to stay in touch with your broader network ALL ALONG. 

And if you've got a friend on the street and see something that might be right for them, go ahead and forward to them -- they will remember this.  And maybe they will go in house and bring you in later, or hire you as an outside counsel down the road, or find out about something for you within their new network.

Networking is not as hard as it seems, particularly in the day of email, Facebook, Linkedin, etc.  Find a way of networking that works for YOU.  Say, you have a young family and don't want to be out for drinks after work because you have to help with homework, etc.  Then, schedule some quick sandwich/salad lunches during the week when you are already in the office and away from home.  Or, take a 3pm coffee break and meet someone at a local Starbucks.  Networking and staying in touch with friends, former colleagues, etc., is always a good idea, and an especially good idea during a downtime in the legal market/economy.

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