A World in Transition: Insights from Transition Hub - The Future of Networking
Last week I was interviewed by Sally Patten for the Australian Financial Review's BOSS Magazine, about the growing trend and need for executives and mid-level managers to proactively manage their own career. Whilst we may think this demographic would generally be well planned, strategic, and aware of their transferable skills, this is not necessarily the case.
2020 is posing all sorts of concerns for those who have been focusing entirely on their job, rather than working on their career. In fact, the future of work is all about taking more responsibility for our own skills, making sure we approach the future with a growth mindset, flexibility, and a healthy dose of self-belief.
One of many reasons we bring cohorts of people together to reimagine their future through Transition Hubs, either within organisations or at Wework globally, is to help people develop new networks. Being part of a cohort, where ideas are shared and problems are solved, you get to know people on a deeper level and when it comes to referring people into roles when you get the chance, you don’t hesitate to say, I know that person is right for that job.
When coaching executives to manage their own career, I’ve often said, networking is a way of being.
You shouldn’t need to make separate times when you ‘network’, if you operate with that ‘dual channel’ switched on. Getting the job done, and being comfortable to share insights, engage with people, present your ideas and ask questions, is networking in action.
But, networking is often overlooked in place of getting the tasks done. In this era, however, it is important that we understand why.
Let’s swap out the term networking and substitute it with connecting. Would you prefer to be known of as a networker, or a connector? Likewise, would you like to be known of, as someone who is salesy or interested and genuine?
When we break it all down, no one really wants to be known of as a ‘networker’, but everyone needs to be doing more of it. My advice, work on becoming a connector, who is engaging and more interested in others than you are in yourself. If you can master that, you will be completely in tune with what the world wants from you.
Lastly, in the recent AFR article, Sally asked me about using LinkedIn as an executive network. LinkedIn is the perfect way to build your reputation, one comment, one post, and the occasional article at a time. LinkedIn is not a directory that will work magic for you if you don’t participate.
So, my final piece of advice is, start reading that LinkedIn feed especially people’s comments, connect with people because you are interested in what they say, or would like to strike up a conversation, and be proactive in asking. You will be amazed at the network you can develop - and by opening up new connections, your own network will grow.
I’ve always said, the future of work is our chance to reset humanity, and by connecting with others, learning about them, teaches you about yourself. Hand in virtual hand, we are closer to than we are apart, and right now, that’s a feeling we all want to hang on to.
Transition Hub, Reimagine Your Future – coming to Brisbane at Wework on 7th – 11th September. Enquiries and places secured at www.transitionhub.com.
Director & author bio: Leading our client partnerships globally, Louise Watts is a sought-after speaker and advocate for holistic transition into the future of work. As a co-founder and Director of Transition Hub, Louise is passionate about what can be achieved when we work collectively to transform the workforce of tomorrow.