Networking has always been the top ingredient of success. In many cases, having a network will help in your job search, expand your knowledge, and improve your expertise. Yet, networking is not all about growing your list of contacts. You cannot just pick random individuals, ask their email or phone number and add them to your contact list, then contact them when you need help. More than that, networking is all about knowing someone at a deeper level that could help improve yourself as an individual.
With that in mind, it is essential to be selective when making new connections. Why? Because getting in a wrong networking circle could hamper your life. Meanwhile, getting yourself surrounded by the right individuals can give you a boost as you will get advice and feedback from a hand-picked group of strategic advisors who truly tip the scales in your favour.
So, who should be in your circle? Here are five types of people to include.
The advocate individuals know you on a personal level, acts as a trusted sounding board, and likely a close friend or family member. When you ask a question such as “how can my first few jobs line up with my personal values?” to your advocate circle, they can help you by giving true answers because they know your ins and outs.
The strategic “In”
The strategic “In” is more like a connection of the outside. They are well-connected individuals, demonstrate a willingness to make connections on your behalf, and likely alumni, past internship advisors, or your professors. When you ask your strategic “In” circle about a new job in X company, they will happily connect you with the current employees of C-suites.
The subject matter expert
As the name suggests, subject matter expert networks are those who can offer you superior insight on a specific industry, give you an unbiased opinion, likely an alumni contact, professors, or family members. This circle can widen your skills and knowledge about the outside worlds, especially the professional ones. In addition, they can give you advice on how to develop yourself and always push you to grow. Usually, these people are those who will make you uncomfortable in your comfort zone.
The financial guru
We know that money is one of the most powerful weapons in today’s industry and being financially illiterate can usher you to more difficulties, such as debt, loan, credit, etc. That is one of the reasons why many employees demand financial programs within their organisations. In this case, you should find one network who can be a financial guru. This network is usually those who live to observe stocks and might work around numbers daily. They can be anyone, like your family member, advocates, friends, or project buddy.
The social butterfly
Last but not least, the social butterfly individual is someone who can encourage you to connect with others. They are very person-centred and love being the centre of attention. Having one or two social butterflies around will help you get out of your comfort zone and can teach you how to network better. This is especially good for a very introverted or shy individual.