~ TUESDAY TIPS ON THURSDAY ~
Last week, the Networking Tip centered around "asking for assistance." I admitted that my own ego often gets in the way of doing this. So, I set a goal over the past week to reach out to others and let them know how I could use their help or advice. Now, depending upon the type of relationship, close friend, acquaintance, close work colleague, more loosely connected colleague, etc., what we ask for might be different. Using common sense here is important. And, if you aren't certain, then ask someone else who can advise you on whom and how to approach.
I started with close friends who knew me and it was a safe way of practicing. I had lunch with a long-time friend and former work colleague who listened to my work goals and gave me some wonderful guidance. In exchange, I treated him to lunch and knew that we were also spending time that continues to build this friendship. I ended by asking permission to take him to lunch again in the next two months to continue to gain his support and guidance as I moved forward with my plans.
Important note here: The plans aren't necessarily completely formulated. Part of meeting with my friend is assisting me in making plans and goals more solid and realistic.
There were a few others whom I went to and told about my need for help with a personal project. One of my friends knows how difficult it is for me to ask, even admit to myself that I need help, as I think I always have it "in control." Again, I knew she would understand and welcome this.
Over the last week, I have learned that it's much better to seek assistance in my network and not "go it alone." It will take me time to get used to doing this until this becomes more of a natural way of life for me. So, I'm continuing the practice and going to extend out to a wider circle in my network. I encourage you to do the same.
How does this all relate back to networking? We are networking when we reach out like this. It's either going back to a connection we already have or seeking out a new one. And, don't forget, ask your friend or colleague: "Who else would be a good contact for me in this situation?" So, let's pick up the phone (or send an email) and get started.
Good luck with your networking and seeking out help and guidance for your career and life plans.