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Are you using the right network?

 Whomi Blog

One key element when leveraging your career plan is getting feedback from your network at each phase. Your network will stretch your thinking and help you make better plans. We've seen significant network feedback in all of our best success stories.
But you have many networks -- which ones do you use and when?
Today we're going to discuss two types of networks: Your trusted, inner-circle network and your extended relationship network.

When to use your Trusted, Inner-circle Network

As we have described before, your trusted, inner-circle network is your Board of Advisors. It is made up of the small group of about 3-12 people whose career advice you trust and who care about your future. You might include former bosses or coworkers, select family members in your field, close friends from your community or former classmates from your school. 
The key to this trusted inner-circle is that they know you well as a person. They have seen you and worked with you. They not only understand your capabilities, but they also understand what makes you excited and happy. You should be able to have deeper, more vulnerable, and more authentic conversations with these people. And you would likely be willing to help them as much as they help you.
Your trusted inner-circle is ideal to help on personal or private parts of your career plan. They can provide more than textbook advice or generic industry experience.
Here are some examples of how to leverage your trusted, inner-circle network on your Whomi Career Plan:
  • Step 1 - Your Goal: Your trusted inner-circle has more insight into what will make you feel energized, not just capable.
  • Step 3 - Your Experience: Your trusted inner-circle will be more likely to advocate for you to build your experience.
  • Step 4 - Your Advocacy: Your trusted inner-circle can give you feedback on your resume and discuss job offer negotiation.
In each of these cases, the content was either very personal or very private. Having your trusted inner circle's feedback can help you make better decisions. Bringing your trusted inner-circle together in a Whomi Advisor Room can help you get powerful feedback by enabling advisors who don't know each other, to work together on your behalf. 

When to use your Extended Relationship Network

Unlike your trusted, inner-circle network that is small, your extended relationship network is quite large. All of your school's alumni are included, many people that worked at your current or past companies, and all kind of friend relationships are in this extended network.
The key to leveraging your extended network is to have very focused questions that can be answered quickly. Let's face it, not everyone cares about our success at the same level. But if we can make the questions simple enough, most people are more than willing to try to help. 
Here are some examples of ways to leverage your extended network on your Whomi Career Plan:
  • Step 1 - Your Industry: Your extended network might have someone that works in an industry you want to know about. Ask what they like best / worst about working in that industry. 
  • Step 2 - Your target capabilities: Your extended network has someone in the type of job you want, or even better, that hires the job you want. Ask them what the top 3-5 capabilities they like to see in candidates they hire. 
  • Step 3 - Your experience: If you need a way to volunteer on a project to build a success story, your extended network may have someone who would like your help. Ask if you could participate on a project.
  • Step 4 - Your job opportunities: Identify companies where you may want to work and ask for an informational interview to learn about the company culture, work environment, and hiring process. 
In all of these cases, you are expanding your network, asking very simple questions for people to answer, and potentially engaging with people that could hire you or know someone who could. 

Conclusion: Use the right network at the right time

Your networks are critical to grow your career. Instead of thinking about a single network, think about the difference between your trusted, inner-circle network and your extended relationship networks. Don't be afraid to ask for help! We have seen over and over again how readily people will help if you can just make the request simple.
Posted in Whomi Blog on October 15 2022 at 09:23 AM

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