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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