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How to Build Your Network


You’ve probably heard this before…”it’s who you know…” Whether you’re trying to get a job or have a job done right, we all look to our network first. Now, with social media, it’s easier than ever to grow our network. Asking for recommendations and referrals is just a post away. While you work on building your professional network, don’t forget about your personal support groups. Friends and family are still a large part of your success. So while you’re growing your business or researching options, reach out to everyone you know and watch your opportunities grow.


Building Bridges


When it comes to building your network, it’s better to build bridges than burn them. You meet a lot of people in the working world. Not all of them may be easy to work with. But before you go off on them via email or vague social posts, remember that they know people too. How you deal with the situation reflects more on you than it does on them. If they’re not easy to work with, others will catch on. Focus on being a professional team player and find other outlets of releasing work tension. While lunch hour vent sessions may feel freeing, you never know the true feelings of who you’re venting to. Surround yourself with those who appreciate the work you do and focus on solidifying these supportive networks.


Tapping into Your Tribe


Keep those all-important vent sessions to your trusted group of friends. Just be careful not to monopolize the time with work drama or you may find those happy hour invites getting lost in the ether. Maintain a healthy balance of venting and celebrating for everyone’s well-being.



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Keep your friends close and your cheerleaders closer. We all need those rah-rah sessions, probably even more than the vent sessions, and we all know where to find them. If you don’t have one of those overly positive friends, there’s a plethora of inspirational and motivational memes online. Find your favorite. Print it out. Post it wherever you’ll see it everyday. Be your own cheerleader if needed. Then go be someone else’s. Remember that supportive network? It still counts even when you're the one holding the pompoms.


Finding the Right Feedback


Your network/tribe/community doesn’t always have to be full of your BFFs. Sometimes friends aren’t as honest as you need them to be. Sometimes they’re too honest. Find the right balance of constructive feedback from others in your same workspace. Look outside of your social circle for the ones doing what you want to do. Tap into their expertise. Hold brainstorming sessions, critique groups, and mini meetings of the mind with this group you call colleagues. If you become future besties, great. If not, that’s okay too.


At the end of the day, it’s still who you know, even if they’re not necessarily someone you feel comfortable calling at 2am to run an idea by or bail you out of a personal or professional predicament.


Once you have that network, make sure you're actively participating in it. Provide a helpful service, like writing informative blogs or social posts, even if no one asks you to. Regularly check in, stay engaged, and don't lose sight of why you've built this network. It may still be under construction, but be sure you’re building it up instead of tearing it down.


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