When thinking about networking, many professionals are too narrow minded. We often keep our various circles segregated. Sometimes, this is wise, but other times it is not. When I lost my job in June 2013, a meeting of the minds of my blended networks helped me build my confidence, came up with a creative–and diverse–game plan, and pointed me in the right direction.
Circles of friends and colleagues often differ. We have a circle of friends with whom we may like to talk sports, others may discuss politics, and others may be strictly about business. There may be some overlap, but we sometimes build protective cones around many of our circles. However, blending these circles can mean benefits for you and others. Your network is only as good as the work it is doing for all participants, so if there’s an opportunity for crossover within some circles, take advantage of it. You may create the introduction for someone within your own circle to meet someone in your extended network. Or, you may ask if someone you are talking with knows someone in a particular field of interest that’s outside the immediate circle.
The web of a network should have key members in it. When discussing networking, we often think of going straight to the top. Instead, it’s important to make sure we are connecting with various levels within an organization. When we cross-pollinate our network and are not narrow minded in our approach, that network becomes more balanced, including friends, co-workers, former colleagues, doers, leaders, support staff, and even some fun personal network contacts.
Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):
- The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood
- Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
- Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
- The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
- From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
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MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby