14 Elements Of Networking For Career Success

networking for career successNetworking for career success is about how big and supportive your professional network is. Do you know enough people who might be able and willing to help you succeed or change if required?

Being able to connect on a personal basis building strong relationships with relevant people is still a core skill of successful professionals. After all, networking for career success is not about the number of connections on Linked in or Facebook, it’s about the quality and accessibility of your contacts!

One way of building your professional network is by attending organized networking events.

While thinking about networking for career success I identified 14 factors which have helped me to become a more proficient and effective networker. It all starts with

Basic Desires At Work

basic desires at workThis blog post is actually an addition to the last one in which I already encouraged you to explore your basic desires at work – aka your personal needs.

When I recently read Richard P. Finnegan’s “Rethinking Retention in Good Times and Bad“, I felt reassured that personal needs and desires are really important to drive our career satisfaction. Finnegan creates a link between Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and the work environments where employees will stick rather than leave. He argues that the needs in the middle of the pyramid play the biggest role in this context.

The Basic Desires for Work are

  • Safety – The need to be free from the effect of physical or emotional harm
  • Social – The need to interact with others
  • Esteem – The need to feel important

Later, he gives some examples of how first line managers as well as senior leaders can increase talent retention by consistently fulfilling those basic needs of their employees.

However, when I read this, I suddenly also recalled the famous “Gallup Q12“. Back in 2006, the Gallup Institute published a list of 12 statements. According to their research of more than 30 years these statements allow companies to measure the actionable issues for their management in relation to topics like satisfaction, loyalty, pride, engagement, and so on.

In other words, if they score low on these statements, they’re in trouble!

Personal Needs – Boon and Bane for your Career

personal needsHow good do you know your most important personal needs? Are you aware of how much they influence your mood and motivation? How much they actually determine your path to becoming successful and satisfied?

You have probably heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow uses the terms Physiological, Safety, Belongingness and Love, Esteem, and Self-Actualization to describe the pattern that human motivations generally move through while we and our personal situation develop over time. I think his findings are still relevant and they provide a good framework to explore a person’s most important needs in a little bit more detail.

So, what are your most important personal needs? If you can’t answer this question straight away and with total conviction, I suggest you sit back and think about it for a moment.

A Life With No Regrets

old man without regretsWhen I talk to people about their careers, mostly in their mid-lives, one of the key concerns they regularly raise is their fear of regret. We then usually start discussing about what a life with no regrets could look like for them

But one aspect is really strange: Although they already anticipate and talk about being old with little time left and looking back at their lives and careers thinking they should have been more courageous or should have done more of this or less of that, only very few of them had ever actively tried to change their destiny – although for many of them there is still plenty of time left!

Now, in particular with regards to your career, I really encourage you to not take this lightly! In the developed world we enjoy longer and longer lives and wouldn’t it be great to look back with gratitude and a deep feeling of fulfillment and happiness rather than complaining about all the missed opportunities and wasted time? There is no perfect day to get started into a new direction – every day is an opportunity to do so!

Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives, has published the following – and now famous – “Top 5 Regrets of the Dying”. Why don’t you look at each of them and think about how you could avoid having similar regrets later on in your life. Then come up with 1 first step each which will lead you into the right direction.

Blast From The Past – Four Simple Steps To Make Wrong Career Decisions Irrelevant For Future Success

Too many off us spend far too much time whining about having made wrong career decisions at some important stages in the past. Even worse: We take those past decisions as excuses for being miserable and unhappy in our careers NOW!

  • I chose the wrong subject at university and now I can’t move into the career field I’m really passionate about! There is no chance to do it with my educational background!
  • If I only had chosen to follow a different path when I was still younger and had the chance to do so! Now it’s too late!
  • I should have started to save money 15 years ago. I could then go for part-time and spend more hours with the kids. No way I could do that without proper funding.

There are endless ways to make wrong career decisions from the past responsible for our current situation – but does it help at all? No! This excuse is simply too easy and it’s time to take responsibility again!

Values At Work – How To Push Back On Job Frustration

A recent global job satisfaction survey by accenture has shown that more and more people feel unsatisfied at work or somehow disconnected from their job. A global average of nearly 60% claim not to be satisfied with their career – and here in Singapore, where I live, the situation is even worse with 76% claiming to be dissatisfied with their jobs (the second lowest result globally!).

Wow, I don’t know what you think but these results really struck me – although the trend didn’t come totally unexpected. I have seen and heard it too often and experienced it myself big time at the end of my 12-year stint with my former employer (a Fortune 500 company).

What makes people unhappy at work?

Of course, the survey results came with a whole bunch of interpretation and analysis naming things like perceived underpayment and lack of growth opportunities as key factors for the low satisfaction rates.

But whatever reasons are stated by the different participants – they all have something in common: They are consciously or sub-consciously linked to the personal value system of each individual.