Building a Network That Will Help You Succeed

Networking is a key component to professional success. A solid network helps you expand your social avenues, so you can meet people who have the potential to help you grow professionally and gain knowledge in your career. As you advance in your career, you will be capable of returning the favor of providing experience and connections in your chosen industry. Discover how to build a network that will last and be the most productive.
Finding Individuals for Networking
Outside of your office, the best place to find individuals to network with is at industry-related events. These can be conferences or meet-ups that are related to your industry, such as professional conferences, annual company meetings or after-hours gatherings. Every time you attend an industry-related event, be prepared to network. You never know when you will meet a potential business partner or possible client.
LinkedIn is another hot place for networking, as discussed in CIO. Don’t disregard holiday parties or social gatherings, such as a friend’s birthday party or a neighborhood barbeque. You can expand your network to include fringe networkers who can help spread the word about who you are and what you can offer to their friends, further expanding your network.
Cultivating Relationships in a Network
Whether you are cultivating a relationship with someone in your network or your best friend, the same principles apply. If you say you are going to call, visit or send information to someone in your network, then be sure to follow through. Otherwise, you risk being seen as untrustworthily and unreliable. If you are constantly flaking out on those in your network, they will feel you aren’t professional or committed enough. Who wants to recommend a colleague who never shows up on time or returns a phone call? Treat those in your network with respect, and you will develop trust that helps you to grow a strong and respectful network.
An ever-expanding network of professionals will help you break into the next level in your career. Take the time to establish and maintain your network for the best benefit.

Find a Job You're Passionate About

Working everyday at a job you have no passion for is far from ideal. However, the need for steady work is a necessity and reality of life. So how can you take the time to find what you are passionate about when you are working 60 hours a week in order to make ends meet? Here are three tips for finding a job that invigorates your passions for life.
Look at the Bigger Picture
In the day-to-day struggle of balancing work and home life, it can seem impossible to think further ahead than the next 24 hours. Yet looking ahead at the bigger picture of your life can help you determine your passion. Think about what or where you want to be in the next 10, 20 and 50 years. Create long-term goals that give you something to strive for, so you don’t stray blindly through your life.
Question Your Life
According to Forbes, asking yourself some basic questions about your life to help you discover your passions. Take a few minutes right now to think about the answers to the following questions:

  • How do you define success? Do you think success equates with money, power or prestige, or is success defined as something completely different?
  • If you could wake up tomorrow and do any job in the world, no matter the experience or education needed, what would that job be?
  • What things make you happy? (For example, is it being outdoors, being around very few people, or being with animals?)
  • If someone you know very well was asked to describe you, what adjectives would that person use?
  • What are the worst things about your current job?

Asking these questions will stimulate ideas and passions that you may have never realized about yourself. Use this information to help you hone in on a job title that suits your passions.
Happiness in Life
As Steve Jobs once said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” In order to find a job that brings you passion, start by looking at what you love to do in life. Maybe you like to create graphics or are an artist on the weekends. Do you enjoy taking photographs or writing? Take your interests, your hobbies and your extracurricular activities, and see if you can transform your life’s loves into a job that you can truly be passionate about.