Consider this scenario…

You’ve designed and built a strong professional network. You’ve included a diverse group of professionals and you’ve done a great job of communicating the type of opportunities that you’re looking for.

About a year ago, you met someone at an industry association conference. The two of you discussed your backgrounds, interests and exchanged business cards at the conference. Recently, an opportunity at her company became available that is an exact match for your background and interests.

Unfortunately, four months ago, your company did some restructuring and your position was eliminated. As a result, the contact information on your business card is no longer valid.

The last thing you want is for someone in your network to be aware of a great opportunity, but be unable to contact you. Contacting you should be simple. It should not require detective work.

Clearly, this is a critical breakdown in your network!

In order to prevent situations like this, you must provide individuals in your network with contact information that remains constant, regardless of your employment situation. When networking, your business card cannot be the only contact information that you provide.

Unfortunately, some job changes occur suddenly, and involuntarily. Also, discussions regarding job opportunities with other companies may be inappropriate using your business email address.

Therefore, you must create and maintain an email address that you provide in addition to your business card.

Here are some best practices:

· Create an account using one of the free email account providers, such as Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo. These accounts can be accessed from nearly anywhere.

· Though it is a personal email address, don’t make the actual email address too personal. Avoid making any “statements” with your email address that could possibly offend individuals in your network, such as,, or

· Check your account regularly, and respond to messages within 24 hours.

The information above is taken from my presentation on Corporate Networking. The presentation is available as a keynote or workshop.