The deliberate act of building strategic relationships that have the ability to catapult you from where you are to where you ought to be is what every career person needs. It’s not enough to be great at what you do, but it’s expedient to keep on bettering yourself while keying into helpful relationships that will not only shorten your journey but increase its quality. Steady career growth doesn’t just happen, it takes handwork, discipline, consistency, and the right career connections.
When it comes to career connections you need to make, it’s not a thing to approach in a casual manner but understanding that the overall success of your career depends both on your preparedness and being presented with the right opportunities. That being said, figure out your goals and what you bring to the table. No one likes a parasitic relationship, think more on the line of symbiosis. In addition, it is also important to know what you want out of life and your career, in order to know what exactly you need from people.
Check out the career connections you need to make in order to grow…
#1. A mentor for life
Can you make it without a mentor in your career? Totally. But not without stress and lots of avoidable mistakes. Once you connect with a mentor, they guide you with years of experience on their gloves. A mentor helps you evade challenges you find hard to navigate and cuts out years of running around in circles in your career. Your mentor can also be your sponsor if he or she works at the same place as you. Simply put, a sponsor is someone who advocates on your behalf and pleads your case when the time comes for career decisions that affect you.
#2. A coach
One of the important career connections you need to make is to have a coach in your boat. They are hands-on individuals who help sharpen your skills. Once you identify the skills you need to sharpen, go in search of a skills coach. This is a sure-fire way of being at the top of your game, always.
#3. An inspiring colleague
Sometimes, nobody understands you like someone on your level, swimming through the tides of life as you are. The point isn’t to start off a chit-chat with Lucy the company’s gossip, but it’s about choosing carefully driven and focused colleagues whose lives are inspiring and keep motivating you to be more. That’s exactly who you should be unapologetically comfortable spending lunchtime with every other day.
#4. A branding expert
Branding has and will always be an integral part of career building. Having a branding expert on your table can never go wrong, especially in this digital age. If there are career connections you need to make and not play about with, it’s these experts. They help you become strategic about how your personal and business brand is perceived, define a more appropriate target audience, and keep you abreast with current and valuable tips.
#5. An expert outside your industry
It’s true that your relationships are usually within your circle of influence. Simply put, if you work in a hospital, your network would undoubtedly be swarming with medical practitioners. This is one way to get stuck in the monotonous. The way out is to be deliberate about making connections outside your industry, it sure helps to give a long-sighted perspective on opportunities. This would come in handy from time to time.
#6. A junior colleague
This might sound ridiculous because you’re focused on sharpening your skills and being a pro, so what is a beginner or a junior colleague likely to offer? Never say never! A network isn’t complete if all you do is look inwards and upwards. There are lots of things to learn from a person who’s lower than you on the career ladder, and it’s also a great opportunity to help raise the next generation of experts. Make a conscious effort to guide and help hone their skills. It’s an investment worth the time.
Featured Image: George Milton | Pexels
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