05/14/2012 11:30 am ET Updated Jul 14, 2012

The Networked Administrative Professional

"It's not what you know but who you know that makes the difference." Have you heard that line before? It's true in the sense that the person who actively creates a reputable brand for themselves with genuine relationships will see more opportunity simply because there is a broader network of people in the world who know who they are, what they are capable of ,and know this is a genuine person they feel they can trust.

The following is an excerpt from my recently published book for executive and administrative support professionals titled Who Took My Pen... Again?:

Building your network is about more than just shaking hands and collecting business cards. To truly build your network you must first build relationships. You must lay out a path of stepping stones, taking care not to use them in stacks to build walls between people!

What can networking do for you? Networking will help you obtain a new position, help your organization gain or keep customers! A broad network opens up an array of opportunities to you.

Outside Your Organization
  • Know your "elevator speech." Update it twice a year, based on your latest achievement, current events, or new business practices in your organization.
  • Join a professional group relevant to your profession or industry. Attend frequently and go with the goal of meeting at least two new people each time. Follow up after the meeting with an email, and forward whatever book title or information you agree to provide when you met them.
  • Be aware of opportunities. You don't always have to be at a mixer to meet a relevant new contact.
  • Know the potential of online networking and use these tools to your advantage. The impact you can make here, alone, is endless.

Happy networking to you!