The second fundamental of networking is Making Connections…
To build a great career, you need to find space in your identity to be a person who loves making connections—and who enjoys being a connector for others. This skill will benefit you well beyond formal professional networking. Community-building is essential to thriving in your role as a mother, too!
Two ways of thinking about Making Connections: Strategically or Free Flowing
- You can be strategic and identify the most important people for you to interact with, based on your current situation and goals. If you want a new job, or you’re building clients for your business, you’ll want to be quite strategic to make the best use of your networking investment.
Now most people make the mistake of only networking when they need something, for example when they want a new job or want to make sales. Don’t be that person! Always be nurturing your network so when you really do need it, it’s there. When you don’t nurture your network, you’re missing out on awesome opportunities.
- If you don’t have a particular job search or business development goal right now, then take the other approach to Making Connections: just being open and seeing which people show up for you. Let the universe guide you to who you are meant to meet. It feels very magical to tap into your intuition. Let your intuition shape your relationship building and see what happens!
Where do you find these people to make connections with?
Write down any of these ideas that resonate and make a note of anyone who comes to mind that you should reach out to.
Start with people you already know, and build your established experience together into even more meaningful relationships. Relationships are an investment, and they take time and intention to maintain. I’d rather you go deeper with people you already have a connection with than have hundreds of contacts that you don’t really know. Think quality over quantity.
- Reconnect with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. Tell them you’re thinking of them. Ask them a question that will reignite your relationship.
Ideas for you to Action…
- Early career mentor.
- One of your past colleagues or a school mate.
- A parent you met through one of your kids’ activities, their school, or daycare.
- Someone from your own past activities (remember all those people who hung out with before kids? If they’ve dropped out of your circle, it may be time to check in with them!)
- Use your intuition; meditate on this. Ask the universe, Who am I supposed to connect with?
- Mine your contacts on LinkedIn. Do you have a strong relationship with most of the people on your LinkedIn? Probably not. You can make a game out of messaging people from your LinkedIn connections. Commit to five messages a day or a week until you’ve gone through everyone. Keep track of this visually somewhere; your brain likes to see the progress you’re making, and you’ll be motivated to keep your commitment to yourself. Ask for a phone call as part of your commitment to building stronger connections with your established network. Who knows what will come of it!
- Attend events—and they don’t have to be professional networking events.
- Volunteer at conferences or events that are of interest to you. You get free professional development and learning opportunities while meeting amazing, like-minded people. If you’re into fitness, consider volunteering at the canfitpro World Fitness Expo https://canfitpro.com/volunteer/
- Go to an event.
- Try to connect with attendees in advance so you can easily build on an established connection once you get there. Many conferences have apps that show you who the attendees are so you can connect before you go to the event.
- Invite someone to go with you and make a pact to split up when you get there. It’s not a good use of your time to talk to your bestie who’s come along with you for moral support. Spread your wings to meet new people. You can even try inviting a peripheral contact to attend an event with the goal of building a stronger relationship with them while you’re there.
- Build in time after an event to do follow ups, make LinkedIn connections, etc.
- Engage in personal or professional development by taking a course or joining group coaching. I’ve been lucky to be a part of some amazing online and live courses, group coaching programs, and Masterminds where the combined intelligence of everyone involved completely amplifies my thinking, my friendships, and my results.
Now you have lots of ideas for Making Connections. See how rich your existing network already is? Tap into it. Quality over quantity!
Please connect with me! I’m here to help!