When it comes to your network, you have to strike a cool balance. To ensure you’re building the right kind of network, it is important to note that adding people to your network for reasons both substantive and shallow is not only acceptable, it’s encouraged. Why? Because your network, when strategically built, should also be well balanced. These five layers of your personal network will help you to evaluate your current network and determine where you might need to add a few people here and there.
Brene Brown once said we should all have at least one friend who would, without hesitation, “help you move a body.” Now, let’s hope you never call anyone looking for a shovel. But if you did, ask yourself this: Who would you call? We sometimes forget to include these people in our network because their connection is intensely personal and not professional. Big mistake!
2. Cheerleaders And Shoulders To Cry On
Hopefully, you’ve collected quite a few people who rest in this second layer of your personal network. They’re the kind of friends you’d call if you went through a break-up, needed help moving across town, or wanted someone to look over a cover letter before you apply for a job. They’re the first people you’d call when you need a boost or had a bad day, and the easiest people in your life to show your true feelings to.
When you’re thinking about the kinds of people who reside in this layer, you’ll think about former co-workers you continue to keep in touch with, individuals you may have met at a professional luncheon or event, potential employers you’re networking with intentionally, and others you’d consider close to you, but in a professional capacity only. If you’re looking for the way to strengthen your connection with them, it’s a good idea to arrange a meeting using CityHour app, you can together convert your free time into productivity.
4. Stand Still, Look Pretty
We don’t always want to admit it, but we all have these people in our networks. They’re, for lack of a better word, decorative. You’ve done work with them, and they tend to have a good name in their field, but you know and so does everyone else that they’re all talk, little substance. Why is this person valuable to your network? Because she knows everybody! Usually, these “Stand Still, Look Pretty” types are also pretty big gossips, and you don’t want to be on the bad side.
The fifth layer of your personal network is clear. You met someone, you took their business card, and maybe you even added them as a LinkedIn connection or followed them on Twitter. But the truth is, you would struggle to remember their name or their face if casually asked. If you wanted to get in touch with one of these connections, you’d begin your email by reminding where you met or a little about yourself because you know that, for this person, you’re likely a fifth layer connection as well.
You’ve hopefully taken the time to both think through and list out a number of your connections in each of the five layers of your personal network. Which layers are you heavy in and which have fewer connections? None of these results is good or bad. It simply helps you to see the current diversity of your network specifically related to their proximity to you and your ability to immediately connect with them on certain issues and needs.