Networking is one of the most essential parts of building your career. Let’s face it, it’s commonly said that it is “all about who you know.” Building a professional network can take time and is more work that one would think. It takes more than clicking “connect” on LinkedIn to build a professional connection and relationship with someone that you are trying to work with.
According to a Forbes article titled, How to Build a Professional Network, people tend to focus on the quantity of their connections rather than the quality. It is most important to have well-rounded connections so that your network is solid. Some of the connections that Forbes suggest people make are people that one wouldn’t automatically think of. These include, “the coach,” “the idealist” and “the wanna-be.”
“The coach” is the person that helps you make serious decisions from an outsider’s point of view.
“The idealist” is the person that you can tell your craziest dreams to and they will be the person to help you make it happen.
“The wanna-be” is the person that you can mentor and inspire as your mentor does for you. It is always nice to know that someone out there is looking up to you.
When building your professional network, be sure to include people that can help you in other ways aside from just your career. Who knows, maybe a connection with “the wanna-be” will inspire you more than you think.