So you know it’s important to have two Qs when building your network: quality and quantity. But have you thought about the importance of having a well-rounded network?
In this job market, having a strong network is critical to your career success. There are tons of tips and articles on where to find people, how and when to contact them, and even what to say to attract and maintain your network. This article focuses on who. who? must be on your network.
Here are the top 10 people you should have in your network, whether you’re looking for a job or happy in your current position, because every job is temporary.
Who should be part of your network?
There are 10 types of people you should have in your network.
- The coach
- Industry insider
- The trendsetter
- The connector
- The idealist
- The realist
- The vision
- The partner
- The Wannabe
1. The mentor
This is someone who has achieved the level of success you want to have. You can learn from their successes as well as their mistakes. Heed their wisdom and experience. These relationships offer a unique perspective because they have known you through several peaks and valleys in your life and watched you grow.
2. The coach
A coach is someone who comes at different times in your life. They help with important decisions and transitions and offer an objective perspective without any strings attached.
3. The Industry Insider
This is someone in your chosen field who has or has access to expert-level information. This person will keep you up to date on what’s happening now and what the next big thing is. Invite them to be the sounding board for your next innovative idea.
4. The Trendsetter
This is someone outside of your chosen industry who always has the latest buzz. It can be on any topic that interests you. The purpose of having this person in your network is to seek out the connections that spark innovation through the unconventional. It will also help you keep your conversations interesting.
5. The connector
This is a person who has access to people, resources and information. As soon as they come across something related to you, they send a letter or pick up the phone. Connectors are great for discovering unique ways to make connections and finding resources and opportunities that many overlook.
6. The idealist
This is the person you can dream of in your network. No matter how “out there” your latest idea is, this is the person to help you think of ways to make it happen. Without judgment, they are focused on helping you realize your dreams with high definition, even if you don’t yet have a solid plan on how to make it happen.
7. The realist
Otherwise, you still need that person to help you keep it real. This is the kind of person who will raise your eyebrows when your expectations are a little too unrealistic and need some grounding. These are not people who crush your dreams. Rather, they challenge you to actively pursue your dreams.
8. The vision
Visionaries inspire you on their journey. They are like idealists, but a visionary can help you envision a realistic plan to achieve your goal. One personal encounter with these types of people can powerfully change the direction of your thinking and life.
9. The partner
You must have someone in a similar place and on the same path to share it with. In fact, partners share a lot. This is the person with whom you can share triumphs and misfortunes. Partners will also share resources, capabilities and information.
10. The Wannabe
This is someone you can serve as a mentor. Someone you can help shape and guide based on your experience. One of the best ways to make yourself understand something is to explain it to someone else. And sometimes one of the best motivations to push through obstacles and hardships is knowing someone is watching.
Obviously, you’ll want to have more than 10 people in your network. The trick is to make sure you build a diverse network by adding people from different industries, backgrounds, age groups, ethnicities, etc. who fit into the roles listed above.
Building a deep network to include only people in your current profession or business focus will leave too many stones unturned, limiting potential opportunities. Are you serious about building a strong professional network that can actually provide the leverage you need to get ahead at work and make the connections you need to land your dream job? Assess your current network and start filling in the gaps. Happy networking!
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This article was originally published on an earlier date.
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