Mark Twain once said, “If you’re looking for friends when you need them… it’s too late.”
The lesson is clear. Relationships take effort at every stage, but meaningful connections are harder to create than maintain. Rather than watch them wilt, take time to nurture your networks.
This is of course to do difficult when other priorities loom larger, but the commitment can pay dividends in tough times. The following strategies can help you revitalize your associations and create lasting benefits for all parties.
360 Style Feedback
People enjoy feeling needed. Requesting feedback from those you admire is not only an easy way to reboot a relationship, but it also offers insight into unseen elements of your workplace brand. If you find yourself on the sidelines, look to these players to help you get back in the game:
- Managers: They have a firsthand view of both your strengths and weaknesses. If the relationship was strong, they can also be a prime source of recommendations and job leads. Just make sure they see you as the person you are not the one they remember if it’s been a while since they oversaw your work.
- Colleagues: They, better than anyone, know how you partner with others. Given permission, they’re the perfect source of honest feedback.
- Direct Reports: They see your skills from a different angle. Specifically, what it’s like to be led by you. Don’t dismiss the breath and dept of their insight or connections. Be humble and ask for help.
- Vendors: They can be the most powerful connectors given the number of organizations with which they work. If you had a productive partnership, they’ll undoubtedly want to see you in a new place, if only for the opportunity to work together again.
Head hunters are of course another group to reengage, but job seekers should only do so once they’ve revised their resumes and rekindled their personal networks. No use going to market with an outdated brand.
You can also connect with professional career advisors if you need assistance. Just be sure to select the right resource and clarify deliverables for each party before signing an agreement. For example a good resume writer can help you polish your CV but that doesn’t mean the individual can prepare you for an interview or help negotiate an offer.
Before someone can think of you in a new role, they have to think of you. So take time to broaden your presence through social media activity. Regardless of your preferred platform or medium, consistent commentary can keep you top of mind. Just ensure your contributions are relevant for your intended audience. Volume and quantity do not equal effectiveness. When creating or responding to content, think value above all.
Finally, it often helps to step outside your own needs. Volunteering is a great way to stay humble, thankful, and focused on how you can be of service even in challenging times. It might seem counter intuitive, but helping others has a way of circling back.
Need a career coach? Contact me via www.PlotlineLeadership.com.
Photo by Christina Morillo