Illustration: Harriet Russell
What If I Lose My Job?!
You can't control the job market, but you can shore up your future prospects by networking. If that very word gives you agita, fear not: The best strategies don't involve schmoozing at a conference. —Ashley Tate
Pay it forward. "Avoid thinking about networking as a transaction in which you're benefiting. Instead, try to give. One simple way: Stay on top of news and trends relating to your industry, and share interesting articles via e-mail or social media. Your contacts will see you as tapped in and insightful, and they'll consider you a valuable asset should an opportunity arise." —Porter Gale, author of Your Network Is Your Net Worth
Show your support. "If you want to reengage with an old colleague or remind someone you exist, take a minute to endorse her skills on LinkedIn. (Just make sure they're skills you've actually witnessed on the job; otherwise it will seem arbitrary.) It's likely she'll return the favor, which may benefit you: Companies are starting to consider these endorsements when they recruit, seeking out people who have the highest number in a particular area." —William Arruda, personal branding expert
Don't forget your coworkers. "During a particularly busy period, like the midst of a campaign, I can't find much time to grab lunch with anybody. We can get so busy that we hardly remember to ask someone about her weekend or how her son is doing. So I focus on developing more meaningful relationships with my coworkers by carpooling or going for a drink after work. I know I can call on them in a few years if we cultivate that bond." —Patti Solis Doyle, political organizer and adviser to the 2012 Obama-Biden campaign