In this career advice piece for Life Reimagined At Work, I share 5 characteristics of a strong network:
Most people look at their network only when they’re job-hunting. This is short-sighted, as the best relationships are built over time, with mutual engagement, not just you asking for something. When you do have a request, it’s an easy way to see if your network is strong – do you get what you want? Short of manufacturing a request to test your connections, you’ll know that your network is robust if is has these 5 characteristics.
A Big Network Is a Healthy Network Size does matter. Yes, you want deep, genuine relationships but the value of your network isn’t just who you know but whom the people you know are connected to, whom those connections know, and so on. The fewer people you know, the shorter your extended reach. A network with quantity also ensures you don’t have to rely on the same people over and over when you need something. If you can only think of a few people you regularly connect with, make a specific effort to expand the numbers in your network.
Diversity Counts Too A strong network has variety. If you only know similar types of people or people in the same industry or role, you will have limited perspective and limited access to breaking trends. Focus on meeting different people by making one date a week with someone outside your department, outside your company or outside your industry.
See 3 more characteristics of a strong network at Life Reimagined At Work: Test Your Network Today.