At all times of your career, your most valued assets will be your Network. Networking is a commonly referenced to mean developing and maintaining contacts and personal connections with a variety of people who might be helpful to you and your career. This topic will be an exciting venture of focus.
We will be focusing on this very important career skill and I will share some valuable fundamentals and helpful tools to take you to the next level from where you are. According to a very good blog posted by blog.Jobfully.com on “How to Create a Network”, there is one place to turn to for fundamentally creating your network.
Start Close to Home
You do not need to initiate your efforts by cold calling people who don’t know you or start raking through LinkedIn to find new people to link up with to get to know…That can be both time consuming, inefficient and to say the least, downright intimidating.
I remember a time during my 20s when I was sure that I wanted to focus on the “aging industry” aka supporting those 65+. I wanted to meet people familiar with the topic. So I picked the name of the best selling author of a book on Aging during the 1980s and wrote him a letter asking for a chance to meet him and discuss the topic. If you are familiar with the phrase “Six Degrees of Separation”, I was more like trying to go from ten degrees to one in a single dramatic step. And I was not offering to help him, but rather to get his help(I have learned better since). Don’t get me wrong, I am all for dramatic steps, but there was high probability of failing on my first attempt. And fail i did….I should have started more methodically to build my network on the “aging” topic and “started close to home”.
A more effective route to pursue is the following order of priority to find people to meet:
* Family members
* Co workers
* Organizations you belong to (Religious, Interest Groups, Political affiliations)
* LinkedIn and Facebook Connections
Either you know people linked to the topic you wish to learn more about or they know someone. You have so much to offer others that you might be overlooking….A different perspective…a fresh face who wants to learn something new…you are a potential helper/mentor to others on the topics you know well and understand…..Never sell yourself short….You have so much to give…and it is through this giving that you will ultimately develop a very valuable People Network to help you on your life’s journey.
Action of the Day: If you haven’t already, establish a personal journal to capture your journey of improvement. It is so valuable to track your progress and issues on a daily basis to learn from your experiences. Write down the top 5 people you consider to be part of your network. Jot down what is important to them in their lives and career and what you do on a regular basis to help them make progress towards their goals. If you do not know what is important to them, schedule time and find out. Try to figure out how you can help and start taking steps to do so. Always start from the point of view of giving….you will feel better as a person and find that mysteriously, you will receive back 10X more than what you give…Networking is not about taking…it is about giving…
Quote of the Day: “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want. Zig Ziglar, famous leadership and personal motivation expert.