3 Tips for Managing Your Personal Network Away From the Office

There are connections in your professional network at work. You do business with these people, and you spend a large chunk of your day interacting with them.

But when you leave the office, there's still a link that connects you-a link you've built with valuable people in your life that might need your advice when you've turned off your computer and left the office. For the average employed person, 8.7 hours are dedicated to work. After 7.7 hours of sleeping, the precious remaining time should be spent wisely.

When it comes to managing your personal network away from the office, check out these three tips to help you maintain a balance in your life. They may appear time-consuming at first, but following these tips will help you better integrate your connections into your life.
Remember more than names and faces
Initially, keeping names and careers straight can be a challenge. But keep in mind these people are your connections, not just your contacts. Whether you've turned into lifelong friends or you just met last week, remember things about people. Ask them about their families and hobbies, and bring those topics up when you speak with them again.

It's helpful to write things down and be aware of what sets certain people apart from others. After all, you never know when you'll have a question about a topic down the road. It could be international business, it could be how to best go about buying a new home or it could be fishing. Your connections are all unique and each has a unique array of knowledge. You never know when you'll value their insights.
Always respond to requests
Other people will probably have questions for you, too. They could be questions about business, and they could be requests for references or favors. Always help them-always. Even if you're behind at work and a connection asks you for reference or career help, set aside time to help them. The short time you spend doing the favor pales in comparison to the long-term relationship that will unfold.

Requests could be work related, or of personal matters. If you're the expert on European travel, freely offer your advice to the connection of yours that's buying a ticket to Spain. It's valuable to be a resource to others, and it's even more valuable to follow up on their requests as a consistent, loyal connection.
Set aside time for people
Make it a goal to set aside time for your connections. Having connections is important, but if you're not putting in effort to build those relationships, they will suffer, and your connections will become mere acquaintances. If you're traveling for business, look up who you know in the area and meet with them for dinner or a quick cup of coffee.

Don't stress out about making time for all of them at once. Make it a goal to meet up with a personal connection at least twice a month. In time, you will find chances to see and talk to everyone. Until then, focus on what you can do today to make more of an effort. Remember the big life events in your connections' lives, and give them a quick call or email to ask them how they're doing.

At Coordinated Business Systems, we know the value in staying organized and making valuable connections. We do this by offering total office services for large, medium and small businesses, including document management and managed print services. Give us a call today and our certified professionals will help you discover the best solutions.