A crucial, just incredibly vital component of your work life, is your network. And, um, networking isn’t really something we’ve been doing a ton of lately. Our worlds have gotten smaller as we haven’t been going in to the office or traveling to conferences or meeting up for coffee or happy hours to nearly the same extent that we were pre-2020.
And honestly, you may be just fine with that–after all the time at home you may have realized that you like keeping things more mellow on the socializing front. Maybe you’ve discovered your inner introvert. I know I’m scheduled to go to my first in-person event–a book launch party for a good friend–and part of me is quaking in my shearling slippers. Am I really going to talk to a bunch of people I don’t know all that well, all within the same two-hour span? I might need some CBD! Lol.
You’re reading the transcript of an episode of the How to Be a Better Person podcast. If you’d rather listen, click the play button below.
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But Here’s the thing
Your network isn’t some wall of trophies that you can proudly point to. It’s your support system. It’s the net beneath your trapeze AND the slingshot that can help launch you higher or in a different direction than you could go on your own.
Consider this: According to HubSpot, 85% of jobs are filled through networking, and 70% of jobs are never posted publicly. Whether you’re daydreaming about finding a new gig, or recently quit, or want to help the people you know and love to find a great new opportunity–all those aims are filled through networking.
Keep in mind that it is vitally important that you actively seek to expand your network beyond people you already know, because those folks are probably going to look just like you. The best networks are inclusive networks, so please, my little Black History Month PSA–and this deserves its own episode but I’m tucking it in here–seek to make your network diverse.
Daily Tiny Assignment
Your tiny assignment is to list 5 people you know, like, and trust–they may be close friends or maybe they’re co-workers from a previous job, a teacher, someone you met at a networking event, what have you.
And then reach out to one of those 5 people on each of the next 5 days. Just check in in whatever mode you usually communicate with–email, text, phone call, postcard, video message, instagram message, whatever. All you have to do is say, Hey! I’ve been thinking about you! Would you be up for a catch-up call (or walk, or Zoom)?
You don’t have to go into it with a big agenda, but if it helps to have one in mind, you’re just going in to see how they’ve been doing and what they’re up to, and share how you’ve been doing and what you’re up to.
Just having a friendly, regular ole conversation can give you both ideas that you wouldn’t necessarily have thought of on your own, and refreshes your connection to each other. That way, if one of you hears of something that might be good for the other, you’ll be top of mind. And even if you don’t have a big a-ha or think of them for a gig, you’ll have spent some time connecting, being human, sharing, conversing. All important parts of being a better person. You’ll also be shaking any rust off your social skills.
Come back tomorrow when I’m talking about listening to your laziness.