781: How To Grow Your Network Through Social Capital

Networking has picked up a bad rap over the years, but what exactly is networking, how is your network different from your social circle, and how do you go about building a strong network full of great people and amazing opportunities?

What to Listen For

  • What is the difference between your social circle and your network, and how can the misunderstanding of the difference lead to a loss of opportunities, both personally and professionally?
  • What are the biggest myths surrounding networking?
  • What is social capital and why is your familiarity with it crucial to your ability to network effectively?
  • Why do many of us view networking as transactional, and why is that mindset detrimental to building a strong network?
  • How important is your first impression when building a network versus building a social circle?
  • What is the easiest area to focus on if you want to strengthen your network, and why can ignoring it have detrimental effects?
  • Why are your casual acquaintances more likely to lead to job offers than your close friends?
  • Is it more important to surround yourself with people just starting out, at your level, or further along than you, and why?
  • What common viewpoint can stunt the growth of your network and lead to your network being full of toxic relationships?

A strong network can lead to a healthier personal and professional life for one primary reason: a variety of backgrounds. Your network is different from your social circle (though they can overlap) because the individuals in your social circle are people you spend the most time with, and so they tend to share a similar background as you, which means they are likely to share the same perspectives and values you do. People in your network, however, likely come from a variety of backgrounds and are likely then to have different perspectives, values, and career choices.

This variety helps keep you open to new ideas and perspectives but also drastically expands the number of connections you have because of the sheer number of people that those in your network have access to.

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Resources from this Episode

Episode 693: Identifying Low Value Behaviors
Episode 694: Becoming High Value
“The Strength of Weak Ties” by Mark Granovetter

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AJ Harbinger - author of 1139 posts on The Art of Charm

AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality. Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born.

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