You may have over a 1,000 connections on LinkedIn.
But how many of them are really relevant to what you do, what you aspire to become and what contribution these connections may make to your goals?
You may have about 500 friends on Facebook.
But how many are the ones you can count on? Who out of the friend list can you call your true cheerleader?
These are some hard, thought provoking questions to ponder upon - especially when you are setting yourself up for success.
It is impossible for human beings to escape from relationships (of any kind). Regardless of how introverted or extroverted you may be, in today’s rapidly changing, volatile business environments that we exist in requires us to put up a stronger fight for survival.
Your best bet in career succession will always depend on two things -
Who you know
Who knows you
Unfortunately, many underestimate the power and role that networking can play when it comes to getting things done. Being “resourceful” is always associated with dodginess or exploitation. And most people tend to network for the sake of networking! Hence you end up with a situation where you have 1,000 connections socially, but rarely anyone who can be of any use.
It doesn’t mean you must have an ulterior motive of self-centric relationship building. Networking with purpose usually requires a high sense of awareness about not just what others can do for you - but what you can do for them in return when called-out.
Are you equally equipped to add value to your associates and colleagues?
Networking becomes even more critical when you are a New Hire or a First Time Manager. As this skill is essential in developing personal brand, managing self and experiencing the learning journey throughout the career lifecycle.
Here’s a little checklist for you to identify valuable connections who you must stay in regular touch with if you want to increase your chances of professional development and career progression:
Optimistic Cheerleaders - associates who believe in your work method and ethic
Social Butterflies - well connected extroverts
Subject Matter Experts - ones who give you meaningful insights into your field of work
Association Directors and/or Executives - members of professional associations relevant to your current and aspirational work
Alumni Services at Universities - who always are in touch with successful alma mater, headhunters and recruiters
Entrepreneurs - people who have had similar passions as you and has created something tangible using their commercial acumen
And always ask yourself what value can you add to them.
Kaplan Genesis is part of the global Kaplan family- the world’s largest diverse educator established for over 75 years. Our Leadership and Professional Development solutions are designed to align your training investment to your commercial strategy. By using our diagnostic capabilities, we can identify your learning priorities, unlock hidden talent and measure training impact.