Why Your Professional Network Sucks, And What You Can Do About It

Why Your Professional Network Sucks, And What You Can Do About It

Perhaps you aren’t happy with the job you have now. You need something new, refreshing, and with better career potential. Maybe you should speak with a few trusted people and get their opinions. Now, the question is, who do you tell?

Image remixed from amasterphotographer.

You need someone who will keep it private but also give you great advice on your next steps, someone who will connect you with the right people. You want to start interviewing as soon as possible to see what’s out there.

Isn’t this what LinkedIn was created for!? You immediately go on LinkedIn and start browsing your connections for people that can help you. Then it dawns on you. That person doesn’t exist in your network. You don’t have that person. Everyone in your network is useless. Well, they aren’t exactly useless — but useless to you.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but it’s all your fault. Here’s why:

1. People in your network are all from your current or past jobs.
2. You didn’t actively try to meet new people.
3. You helped zero people within your network. No one owes you any favours.
4. Remember the email that’s sitting in your email that you forgot about? Trust me, they didn’t forget.
5. No one knows who you really are besides your previous titles.

How do you fix it?
The easy answer: Meet people that could help you in six months, not that can help you now. As Wayne Gretsky famously said, “Skate where the puck’s going, not where it’s been.”

1. Go to coffee meetings — a lot of them. Can’t get away in the morning? Meet them during lunch.
2. Meet different people, not just people in your industry.
3. Respond back to all those emails that are sitting in your inbox. Offer your help.
4. Reconnect with people you haven’t met in a while.
5. Be consistent. Do it every single day. It’s exhausting, but it’s worth every second.

Your Professional Network Sucks and It’s All Your Fault [Robbie Abed’s Personal Blog]

Robbie acts as an interim CTO for startups and helps corporate rockstars quit their full-time jobs. Follow him on Twitter @RobbieAb.

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