The dictionary definition of a network is simply 'a group or system of interconnected people or things’. We are all interconnected to people & things, therefore we all have our own network, and are part of many other networks, whether we choose to utilise them or not. Network-ing is purely developing, building and utilising your existing network. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
Considering my career so far has mostly been initiated by recommendations, for someone who considers themselves a non-networker, I have clearly had myself fooled. Without realising, I have, as you will have, built a network that consists of all the people I have met through work, training & social circumstances.
Once I became aware of this I realised I could see my network a bit like this...
My Core: The people who I turn to. Those who inspire me. My relationship with this group revolves around mutual support.
My Inner Direct Network: Those who I could comfortably pick up the phone and call (or fb message) without feeling out of place, but perhaps those I wouldn’t share my deepest darkest secrets with.
My Outer Direct Network: Those I have a less personal connection to and would class more as a professional contact.
My Indirect Network: Those I don't know directly, but who have a connection to contacts within my network.
Everyone has their own unique network, and we all act as a link to interconnect each other. In other words, if we build ourselves a strong enough network it will naturally be able to work for us to link us to new people and opportunities. Our network will promote us in a way that we can not promote ourselves.
So...Once I realised this, my question was - how can we all build and utilise this?