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How to find your tribe to grow in your career?


networking

The mere thought of 'networking' freaks me out. I like to keep to myself and my work. I don't enjoy initiating conversations with unknown people. However it's coming in the way of my career growth as I am not finding enough sponsors willing to support me for my next role. I dont have peers who partner with me for our mutual growth. I am also not visible outside my organisation. So I feel stuck. What can I do differently?
						~ Senior Leader, Financial Services

'Networking' is an umbrella term that refers to interactions / exchange for building productive professional / business relationships.


While some of us thrive in initiating this exchange, some of us struggle with it.


The struggle is because of:

  • deriving the wrong meaning out of the word to create value conflicts within us. eg: If I need others to grow in my career, it means my work doesn't speak for itself.

  • lack of understanding of our own energy. eg: Introverts derive energy by being alone and lose energy in the company of groups, while extroverts gain energy in groups.

Some empowering ways to look at it are:

  • Networking is about finding your own tribe who see your light and help you thrive.

  • It is about creating professional relationships that inspire you to be more

  • It is more about sharing your gifts rather than being parasitic.

So how to network in a way that makes sense for you? How to find your tribe to grow in your career?


tribe

1. Your tribe

Your tribe can be formed with any of the attributes below:

- People with Shared Interests / Passions

- People with Complimentary skills

- Mentors / Advisors

- People already playing your dream role

- People who you are inspired by

- Friends who are cheer leaders.


You find them by consciously looking out for them. These interactions when they begin are agenda-less. They are not transactional. They are not initiated with an outcome in mind. Over years, your tribe created thus will be a great asset for brainstorming ideas, unblocking you, cheering you and making you more fulfilled.

energy

2. Your energy


If you find yourself draining energy in groups, interact one person at a time instead of groups. Even if you meet 1 person a month, you would have connected with 12 new people in an year.


If you drain energy in even one person meetings, ensure you fill your cup before such interactions. Schedule activities that energise you before the meeting.



gift

3. Your gifts


Networking is more about sharing gifts that you have. These could be anything from humour, thought process, creative skills, kindness, listening, hobbies, knowledge etc.


Know what you are good at and be willing to share.


Don't hesitate thinking it is small or big.


Muster courage to give what you have.


The best way to find your gift is to ask yourself - what lights you up?





If networking looks daunting to you, start small. Meet 1 person a year. If you are able to do that, meet 1 per month. If you are able to do that meet 1 per week. Then let it flow naturally.


And if the critic in your head wakes up and asks - how all this will help in my career? It will if you do with energy, enthusiasm and spirit of giving. You will start becoming visible.



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