3 Tips for Building a Healthy Network

11 04 2019

By René Siegel, CEO, Connext

Hello Everyone! I asked René Siegel, a long-time supporter of the KIT List who hires consultants for high tech clients, to share her best tips on job networking. René has also generously shared her time, wisdom and wit at a KIT List event on a panel of hiring experts. Read on and try these out!
– Sue

Building your personal network sounds as simple as finding people you like or with whom you have something in common. We think of them as our posse, our community, our peeps. Perhaps people who inspire us.

But here’s what people don’t tell you about networking. Your circle can also be a cage. You can surround yourself with the same people, for years and years, without making sure they’re the right people for you, right now.

Smiling group.jpgHere are three tips for building a healthy network:

1. More is not better.
You may assume the more connections and opportunities you have the better. I have thousands of connections but only a few dozen are truly my dearest colleagues, the ones I rely on to inspire me and always have my back. It’s like weeding your garden. You need to keep pulling the weeds or they will overtake and ruin your garden. Working with people you already trust increases your chances of success and reduces headaches. You don’t have to delete them, but, you can say no (no, thank you) to bad business and bad people as you carefully build your brand.

2. Take me or leave me.
Many people only come around when they want something from you—like the ever popular “Can I pick your brain?” request. Be selective with whom you share your expertise. Sometimes it can lead to a lucrative opportunity, but mostly you’re just adding coins to the karma bucket and that’s okay, too. Delete those who drain your mojo. And if you’re going to be generous with your time and expertise, don’t be afraid to ask for something in return like a referral or recommendation.

3. The more diverse, the better.
No matter the stage of your career, you need to proactively meet people who are different than you. Different ages, different industries, different expertise, different backgrounds. After a 20-year career working with lots of 20-year veteran colleagues, I started speaking to university classes. That led to a part-time teaching role that re-energized my business model! You’ll be far more marketable if you’re surrounded by diverse people who challenge what you know with their ideas and experience.

Everyone in your circle might not be in your corner. It’s your responsibility to attract the right people and repel the wrong ones. Be picky about the people you invest your time with and go the extra mile for.

There are bad clients and crazy bosses who may want to take advantage of you. People can suck the life out of you—if you let them.

You should be picky about the people you invest your time with and go the extra mile for. Not everyone deserves that from you.

 

 About the Author

Rene Shimada Siegel at SRK Headshot Day
René Shimada Siegel is extremely passionate about empowering colleagues and advocating for the next generation of communicators. She is the CEO of Connext, Silicon Valley’s marketing and communications consultancy. For two decades, her company has made life easier for hundreds of technology clients with specialized contractors ranging from recent grads to senior strategists. Current clients include Adobe, LinkedIn, Google, and Salesforce. René also passes on her real-world experience to students as an adjunct public relations professor at San Jose State University.

As an entrepreneur, René’s been featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Working Mother, Newsweek Japan, CNBC, and Dan Pink’s Free Agent Nation, among others. She’s also been a regular columnist for Inc.com and a frequent speaker on entrepreneurship, career strategies, and personal branding.

Anyone interested in learning more about Connext can reach René at rene@connextme.com.

 


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