Where is your network when you need it?

News broke last week of 65 people let go from Patton Boggs. Whenever I see news of layoffs or hear of someone forced to find a new job, I wonder how many of those people are scrambling to connect with their online (Linkedin, especially) and in-person networks. I know they are to updating their online profiles and scheduling breakfasts, lunches and dinners with friends, business contacts and clients. I assume some are searching for networking events to attend with their newfound free time or have decided now is the time to join a trade group to connect with people who may hook them up with recruiters or new jobs.

If they are all doing all this now, it is going to be a long, painful and frustrating process. But, it did not have to be.

Building a network should be done on an ongoing basis – especially when you are not looking for job or new business. When you are desperate, it is more challenging to focus on valuable connections, and those with whom you are connecting know you have an agenda this is one-sided. Connecting with referral sources and clients via Linkedin has to be done even when your plate is

full. Joining networking groups and attending those events has to happen even when your schedule is booked with client or firm matters.

Landing a new client or a job can take six months to a year. Maintaining a vibrant network undoubtedly shortens that time frame.

Will you have a robust network when you need it?