Leverage The Value of Your Social Connections for Personal and Career Growth
Updated: Feb 13
If you're thinking of making a career change, you may have carved out a clear focus and industry. You may have it all planned out in terms of what kind of companies you would like to work for and the type of organizational culture.
But have you identified other meaningful resources? I am talking about the value of leveraging your key supports or your "champions".
When it comes to job search, many jobseekers tend to underestimate the number of connections they have, even the distinct value of their networks. This is the reason why their job search proves to be often ineffective and reaps little results.
The truth: if you think about just how many people you know, and those that are willing to guide you in your job search or career journey, you may be surprised to find several champions in your corner.
Start with family, friends, and colleagues.
Consider your peers and those from associations.
Then move onto exploring and engaging with your existing connections deeper on online platforms such as LinkedIn before you start adding more connections. Find out how you can engage with them on common points of professional interest.
During my training, I learned the value of identifying champions and then branching out to engage with other prospects who can lead to the sponsors and activators. The sponsors and activators are the ones who can help set in motion the wheels of change through an idea, introduction, or referral.
While the networking process is far from linear, any of these people could play a vital role in your career and job search. You just need to do your research and keep reaching out while trusting in the simple, natural give-and-take process of networking.
When you keep positively and consistently networking, the process works! When both parties are open to collaborating in a spirit of positive intention, caring and sharing, then networking can be fun and productive.
There are people that can help you in your job search who serve different functions throughout your career. From mentor to coach to connector and idea generator, the more people in your corner, the more enriching your network becomes and the more growth you experience. The networking process reaches far and wide and helps people on a larger scale than you even realize. Just consider how posting your story on LinkedIn can inspire or change another person's life who can then share that story to countless others in a team or group. That idea can serve as the driver for other change initiatives.
Your connections can offer you a vastly untapped source of ideas and constructive feedback for your career growth, while allowing you to see things from a unique perspective. They can challenge you, champion you, and motivate you, and even remind you to get back on track to achieving your long-standing goals. You can also find ways to support them in their efforts. Relationship building is a two-way street.
Well, here is a helpful guide for you as a jobseeker to identify social connectors in your life — people with social influence who can propel your job search further. This exercise will also help you truly appreciate the vast network that you really do have, which can be a confidence booster! This guide is based on the principles from Chris Winfield and Jen Gottlieb, Super Connector Media.
YOUR TOP 20 LIST
How does it work? First, outline your 'Top 20 People List'.
1. Think about everyone in your life. List all the names, including people you know from high school, your former boss, your relatives, or someone you just met.
2. Rank each person’s level influence, from 1-10, based on what you think their connections are worth. Don’t worry about being too perfect; this is your impression.
3. On a scale of 1-10, write down their likelihood of actually wanting to help you. (Example: Family and friends: Probably 9 or 10. Someone you just met: maybe 1 or 2.)
4. Add up the scores and start with the highest numbers.
Visit the Job Search Resources Vault to download Your Social Connection Worksheet!
Read more about valuable networking advice: https://www.workitdaily.com/60-seconds-of-networking-advice.
Remember, the Social Connection Worksheet is just one tool part of your job search. If you have any questions or need support regarding your job search, please feel free to contact Creative Horizons Communications: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Think creatively and visualize a new career horizon!
Lori Jazvac is an award-winning Master Resume Writer/Certified Career Transition Coach and Certified Hidden Job Market Coach.
Lori is the Founder of Creative Horizons Communications, a trusted holistic career services provider in Halton serving jobseekers globally to embrace their next career milestone.