A new way to look at networking
Typical networking advice suggests that you look at your existing network and think about how to enhance and strengthen your relationships. The downside with this approach is that it is based on who you know and have known. It is not based on your vision for where you want to go in your career.
A more efficient way to think about your network or ‘powerbase’ is to start with your vision of where you want to be in your career in three to five years, and then work backwards from there.
To make this more clear, follow these steps:
1. Take a moment to visualise your best possible career in five years.
2. Who will be the people who you know, and know you if you achieve your vision? Don’t limit yourself. Think about the leaders in your field and in your communities.
3. Work backwards to paint the picture about how you came to meet and know these people. Which associations did you join? What assignments did you complete? Where did you take on leadership positions? Who made key introductions for you? How did you develop new skills and abilities?
4. What do you have to do ‘now’ to show up differently in order to draw in the types of people you need to attract, and make the story come true?
5. What are key steps you can take right ‘now’ to start building your ideal network and moving efficiently and powerfully into the future?
This is a new way of looking at networking. Instead of starting where you are, you start from the future, and work backwards.
This approach to networking can be intimidating for many, because it might mean that you have to reinvent yourself and show up differently than you have been.
Taking time to think and strategize about your network is crucial if you want to be associated with top-tier professionals. The approach outlined above forces you to think about how you show up now as a leader, and how you need to show up to attract the professional network that will help you achieve your ultimate career goals.
For a more comprehensive approach and discussion on ways to enhance your ‘powerbase’ of professional relationships please contact us.