4 People You Need in Your Network
Your network is what you make it. When you’re spending time trying to craft the right web of people to help you reach your career goals, you’ll find yourself at event after event, handing out business cards, wondering if you’re making the right connections. Networking isn’t easy and sometimes, it isn’t for the faint of heart. But, knowing what types of personalities you’re looking for at these events might help you feel like you’re making headway. Here’s a helpful list of all the people you need in your network this year.
This person knows everyone. Not only do they keep track of names, they know who works for who, and sometimes all the gossip that comes with that. “The Connector,” despite sometimes being a chatty Kathy, is a valuable ally to make. Not only will they learn your history, strengths, and weaknesses, they’ll keep you locked in that mental Rolodex and help ensure that you meet the right kind of people to help you reach your goals. Although this personality might not be entirely selfless, it can often feel that way. Nevertheless, don’t burn connectors once you’ve ascertained who they are, or you may find yourself seeking a new networking circle.
This personality may actually be selfless. More than anything, they exited to support and inspire others. This is the kind of person who asks you how you’re doing and craves a genuine answer. However, “The Cheerleader’s” deep need to be liked can mean that they won’t take sides. Cheerleaders can be frustrating in this sense, and may seem to be simultaneously supporting you and everyone else in your circle, even your rivals. However, finding a cheerleader for your network is crucial. The right person will give you support and energy when you feel stuck and ultimately, may choose you and you alone to support as your path to success begins to sharpen.
Although you might find yourself in a position where you have determined you need mentorship, seeking out “The Mentor” might not be the best first step. Besides, nothing validates our ideas more than having a mentor witness your intelligence or insight and decide they’d like to offer guidance without any finagling on your part. However, that might feel like it only happens in movies. Instead, try seeking out peers in the industry you’d like to join and asking them to engage in “informational interviews.” Essentially, this is asking someone you’ve designated as a potential mentor to have coffee with you and allow you to pick their brain. It’s moves like this that show initiative and help you stand out from the crowd, least of all, gain some insight into your possible path.
Being in the presence of a true “Visionary” can feel invigorating. This person has new and original ideas, as well as ways of presenting those ideas. Their communication is clear and confident, and they know how to capture a room. Although these types of people are rare, there can of course be more than one visionary in any networking circle. However, it’s important to decide where you stand in this cast of characters. Successful ventures need both leaders and supporters, both visionaries and cheerleaders.
Determining your role, whether you’re a connector, cheerleader, mentor, or visionary, is the most logical first step in ascertaining who belongs in your 2018 network. To ascertain this, you might ask yourself some questions. What are you hoping to gain from this group of peers? Do you have an idea you want support for? Are you new to the world of networking and looking to get your business feet under you? Wherever you are in your path to success, finding the right people to fill in your networking peer group is a grand way to tackle the new year. How have you managed to meet the right people in your network? Would you add any other characters to this list? Leave us a comment below!