- Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
By Khalilah Starks
Recently, I was inspired to post the following on Facebook:
“We spend too much time in our own little bubble. Burst that bubble that you’ve created for yourself. Expansion means new opportunities. Do something different. Do things to meet new people. Break out!”
And, that’s when it hit me. So many people struggle with the job search process because they fail to burst their own bubble. So many people fail to learn about life changing career opportunities because their networks are too small, or shall I say their bubble hasn’t been burst.
By human nature, many of us stick to what we know. We have lunch with the same people. We go to the same social events that are promoted by the same people. We find people that we trust and then we stick to them. We do the same thing over and over again, but get frustrated when everything remains the same. Well, I’ve got some great news for you. There’s a whole world out there full of opportunities that are made just for you. But, you’ve got to do something different.
In this day and age, where 80% of jobs are found through networking, you can’t afford to have a small network. Your network needs to be wide and deep. So, what are you going to do to burst your self-imposed bubble?
I’ve got 8 ideas to get you started! I know, I know, you’re busy. But, you can do this. Take action and you’ll start to feel your bubble expand. And soon, it’ll burst!
1. Join Organizations.
Pick an organization that’s fun and represents who you are. That way, you’ll look forward to attending the meetings and connecting with other members. Additionally, join an organization that is related to your career field. This is an absolute must because you definitely want to expand your network with others in your field.
2. Get Active.
Okay, you’ve joined the organization. Kudos to you! But, you’ve got to actually do something to get to know people. Of course, attend the meetings. But also, participate on a committee within the organization. Offer to take the lead on an initiative or work with someone who’s already taking the lead. Attend the organization’s events and commit to helping make those events a success.
3. Attend an Alumni Event.
These are great because you get to connect with people from your past, but can also connect with alums that you don’t know and alums that attended during different years. And, you already have something in common with the people you meet which makes the connection process that much easier.
Find a special cause or community initiative to attach yourself to. But, make sure that you choose something that is near and dear to your heart. That way, you’ll meet others that you’ll instantly connect with because they’ll care about the same thing too. If you have children, volunteering at their school is a great way to meet and connect with people.
5. Accept Invitations to Do Different Things.
Part of expanding your network is expanding your experiences. The next time a friend asks you out to do something that you normally wouldn’t do, go for it. You never know who may be there to connect with!
6. Invite, Invite, Invite.
As you meet new people, invite them out for lunch. Schedule a coffee or tea date if you don’t have time for lunch. The purpose of this is to establish a connection and learn more about them. You may have common interests that you would have never known about if you didn’t take the time to get to know them.
7. Pick a New Hobby.
The key here is to choose something that will make you interact with others. Take a class and you’re guaranteed to meet others. Choose something physical like Tennis and you’ll kill two birds with one stone – physical fitness and networking!
8. Ask a Friend for Recommendations.
No need to go it alone here. Your friends may already belong to some pretty cool networks that they’re more than happy to include you in. Besides, it’s so much easier when there’s someone there that you know to break the ice.
Today is Monday. You’ve got all week to think about which idea will work for you and how you’ll implement it. Choose two or three ideas if you really want to take a sharp stab at bursting your bubble. You can even think of some ideas that I haven’t mentioned to add to your list. But, if you do, please do share your ideas by leaving a comment below! Sharing is caring. 🙂
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