LinkedIn – Organize your network online, follow career groups that interest you, get updates on the latest career information, etc. It’s free for the basic account, which I find to be all I need. LinkedIn is your HQ for networking. Start here https://www.linkedin.com/uas/login
Google+ – Similar to LinkedIn but with a different way of organizing things. https://plus.google.com/+google/posts
You know from your law enforcement experience there are many opportunities for networking in the police and security world. Depending on your background and area of interest, you will have your own ideas about how and where to contact people. Here are a few good sites I’ve come across.
World Association of Detectives – An association for private investigators and security professionals around the globe. http://www.wad.net/
Cops & Firefighters with Businesses http://cfbnetwork.com/
ASIS International https://www.asisonline.org/Pages/default.aspx
Many career books have chapters about networking. It keeps coming up. It doesn’t seem to matter what angle the book is written from, networking in some form is always there. Obviously it’s important, no matter how much we don’t like the term.
The following books examine networking in more depth than just a chapter or two. So if you really want to get into expanding and organizing your network, check these out.
Networking by Colleen S Clarke (2006). The book points out that the word “networking” has been around so long that we think we know everything about it. Not so, as the author shows us. Includes topics about overcoming networking fear and expanding your network. Much good information in a book of only 78 pages.
Networking Magic by Rick Frishman and Jill Lublin (2014). This book is right up to date. It covers all the current issues of modern networking. Two of the most interesting chapters are about the “Do’s” and the “Don’ts” of networking. There’s a chapter for each with good lists of what to do and what not to do. There are Networking Nuggets throughout the book, short practical tips about networking. There’s good advice about using the Internet, including how to greatly increase your network on the web.
One Phone Call Away – Secrets of a Master Networker by Jeffrey W. Meshel with Douglas Garr (2005). A theme through many of the networking books is being helpful to others builds your network. This book really emphasizes that and the author gives several good examples of how helping other people resulted in new contacts that didn’t just sit as a name on his contact list. They actually formed a loyalty to him and returned the favor. He also devotes a chapter to the issue of overcoming shyness to expand your network.
Highly Effective Networking by Orville Pierson (2009). He deals with a lot of the myths around networking, including a big one. Some people think you have to be a real schmoozer to network well. Not true, as this book will show you. He’ll also make you think about how large a network you really have. It may be a lot bigger than you think.
Networking is A Contact Sport by Joe Sweeney with Mike Yorkey (2010). If the title doesn’t let you know that the author really likes sports, the picture of the football team on the front cover certainly does. There are lots of sports references along with very in-depth advice about networking. If you want to learn about networking AND you like sports, this could be the book for you. There’s also a good chapter about networking for women. I haven’t found that kind of specific information for women networkers very much in other books so it’s a very helpful feature of this one.
Monster Careers: Networking by Jeff Taylor with Doug Hardy (2006). A good basic book about career networking. It explains how networking helps get jobs and tells you how to get started networking.
The Rules of Networking by Rob Yeung (2006). Lots of good networking advice in short bites of a page or two each. The book includes tips on how to put together a short statement about you that can be delivered in about 30 seconds. So if someone asks you: “What would you like to do for a second career?” this book will help you develop a very concise answer. It has in-depth networking information, including some ideas about networking and career support groups.
Networking is Dead by Melissa G. Wilson and Larry Mohl (2012). You might think this is an odd title for a networking book. The authors’ point is that there are misconceptions about networking and that it has changed. They emphasize quality connections over quantity. The book reads like a story with tips at the end of each chapter. If you prefer the story-book style as you learn about networking, instead of a self-help textbook style, try this book.
Knock ‘em Dead Social Networking by Martin Yate (2014). You couldn’t get much more current information about networking than this. It’s a really useful book. If you networked in all the ways mentioned here, you’d have it covered. In person, online, social media, your personal brand, it’s all in this book.