Building networks will change in the next following years, considering the shift towards building up start-ups, towards individuals working for themselves and people simply seeking support in their career or personal lives (as these become busier for everyone due to the on the go lifestyle). More and more people acknowledge that their network support is actually very much needed in their own development. I’ve too realised that if I really want to succeed, I need to develop my own supportive network. Keep on reading to find out how to build your supportive network in 2020.
Whether you’re an employee, business owner, blogger (that’s a business too), you might need to start considering both creating and maintaining your supportive network in 2020. It’s such an interesting topic that I’ve recently come across in a book called 100 year life by Lynda Gratton & Andrew Scott. I really recommend you reading this, although a 400 pages book and a heavy topic is not a quick flick, even when you’re a fast reader.
If there’s one thing you need to be focusing on to have a more successful life, you must invest in your intangible assets. A quick list of intangible assets:
- Skills in relation to your field of work
- Skills outside your field of work
- Relationships across the board
As the first two might be more straightforward or maybe a topic for another article, today, we would be focusing on growing relationships across the board. With more independent producers or entrepreneurs who need to create those inter-connected networks that will benefit both their businesses and long lives, and need to be empowered, the general view of support is evolving.
How can you start building your network today?
Look around you and assess both your professional and non-professional relationships. Be honest when you think about these. If you never sat down to consider who you’re surrounded with, maybe today’s your day.
It might be strange to you to look at relationships as assets. In reality, the relationships we have can be considered very valuable assets. A highly connected individual will have a stronger network and is more likely to succeed as an individual producer / entrepreneur / small business owner. It’s about finding those valuable people who can support you in different areas of your life: personal matters, business affairs, motivation and so on.
In return, you will do your absolute best to support back, but never expect anything in return. Do it because you feel they deserve it, not because you need / want something from them. That’s defeating the purpose really. Here are some tips to get you started on growing (and maintaining!) your relationships:
- Be there when a person needs your piece of advice (not 3 days later)
- Make that effort to meet for regular catch-ups
- Check in with that person from time to time via phone / social media
- Recommend that person’s services to others
- Offer support when you’re kindly asked (i.e. be present for their business launch etc.)
The point is that in the near future, work will not be so standard for everyone; the 9-5 scheme which can be stressful at times, is changing for many companies because people might have realised they need different working patterns. We will all need to adapt our skill sets to change careers, even go solo to explore our own businesses or partner with others to create our own opportunities. Just be kind, offer support and work on building your network in a genuine way.
If you work in a corporation or small business, you’d still want to connect with your colleagues in a genuine way. Get to know the people and enjoy their company. It’s so important to be surrounded by people who are driven by similar values. You’d also feel more at ease knowing that you can be yourself at work and make potential friends.
I still have friends from previous work places and it kind of reminds me of high school really. Keeping in touch after ages makes me feel nostalgic and think about the past with a smile on my face. Don’t lose the time you have together to build a good friendship. This doesn’t mean you will need to be best friends with everyone in your workplace. Try to meet a handful of people on a personal level.
Some relationships can be kept at a professional level too. We all have people we enjoy working with from other departments. It’s great to have them in our network too. Be helpful & friendly, write nice emails and offer your support when they need it.
Sometimes, you never know who you can meet now that you will collaborate with in the future. So, don’t give away your opportunities to build something valuable now. Most times, these people can support with your decisions as well based on a number of facts – their information about something (might be the market), their expertise with time required for actions and so on.
All in all, be helpful to your networks, most times it doesn’t cost you anything. Take time to discuss with them, support and understand them. That’s how you will start building you supportive network in 2020.
Let’s have a chat – what are your most successful ways of building a network? Let me know in the comments below.
Until next time,