It is a good idea to build a strong professional network that can provide the support that will help you make progress in your career. The people in your network may be friends, family, colleagues or people you meet through business networking.
You want the members of your network to be helpful to you in terms of commitment to helping others achieve success, and to be prepared to invest time and effort for no reward other than the pleasure of seeing you succeed.
Try to work with a fairly large but manageable group of excellent people. Aim for at least a dozen, more if you can. Develop a diverse, wide network by including people from different sectors, professions, backgrounds, age and ethnic groups.
Building a narrow network which only includes people from your current profession is restricting and limits potential opportunities. Keep in mind the importance of having a well-rounded network of people who can perform different functions for you .
You would benefit from working with these types of people;-
- A Mentor
This person probably knows you well, is older and wiser than you, has probably achieved the type of success you want for yourself., and will encourage you to believe you can achieve it .They will help you brainstorm and define your dreams and maybe even set you on the path to achievement
- A Coach
Someone who you can turn to for help in specific situations, who can offer an objective perspective, and guide you through tricky patches with specific advice.
- An Industry Insider
This is someone who is an expert in your chosen field and can give specific advice about particular problems, and information about trends and predictions about the direction things will move.
- A Trendsetter
May not work in your industry but always knows the next thing, the latest buzz. They can encourage you to think outside the box and look for unusual connections
- A Realist
The person who will help you keep it real, challenge you to overcome hurdles and realise your dream. Offers sensible practical advice.
- A Consummate networker
This is a person who always knows someone who can….. They have access to people, resources and information, and can be relied on to think of you when something comes up. They are good at spotting ways to make connections, finding resources and opportunities
- Your Partner or Very Best Friend
You probably share experiences with your Partner or Very Best Friend already. This is the person you share the day’s events with .and you can also share resources, opportunities and information. Remember to keep it positive- don’t moan!
And look out for a mentee- someone you can be mentor to, and “pay it forward” by guiding them based on your experiences. This teaches you to listen well. Also one of the best ways to understand something is to explain it to someone else. This forces you to rationalise and verbalise your experiences. And a good motivator for pushing through obstacles is that you know someone is watching you and looking up to you.