Who’s in Your Network?


LTAW March Theme is Spring Cleaning: Do you worry too much about work? Are your personal and professional relationships messing up your workplace happiness? Does your workspace define you properly? Are you focusing on the right things? This month we will focus on ways to declutter your life, mind and space to help make work more enjoyable!

If you haven’t guessed by now, this week’s sub-theme for LTAW is “decluttering your relationships (personal and professional)”. Earlier this week we gave advice on maintaining healthy relationships at work and how your personal relationships may be negatively affecting your job. We wrap up the week with tips on choosing the right professional network. Having a professional network is essential. If you are looking for a new job, networks are a great tool – some people find the best positions through their network connections. Networks can also help you succeed in your current position – you never know who people know and what knowledge they possess if you do not take the time to connect with them. Having a solid network helps us learn about new opportunities, expand our world view, and see new possibilities.

How to get started…
If you do not currently have a network it can be a bit daunting figuring out how to get started. SophiaThink offers some getting started tips on how to build a professional network that is right for you. With the technology of today, there are many virtual options available (e.g. LinkedIn) to connect with a global audience( that you may never meet in person). Chris Craft of Nao Media and Consulting, recently gave tips for LTAW on how to maximize your LinkedIn account.

Who should absolutely be a part of your network?
Tai Goodwin, a professional development coach, says there are 10 key people who should be included in your network. Goodwin stresses that your network should be well rounded. She suggests every network have: the mentor, the coach, the industry insider, the trendsetter, the connector, the idealist, the realist, the visionary, the partner and the wanna-be. Of course, your network will be comprised of more than just 10 people, but the point is to ensure your network is diverse. Goodwin says building a network that includes only people from your current profession or business focus leaves too many stones unturned, limiting potential opportunities.

How healthy is your network?
Establishing a professional should be embedded into your career routine. According to Janet Civitelli, associate director of University Career Services at the University of Houston, constantly maintaining a network should be a part of your career development strategy. Here are some tips Civitelli offers on how to assess the health of your professional network.


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