Episode 11: Building a Network - Fear of Becoming Obsolete (FOBO) - Staying Relevant at Work
Welcome to the start of a brand new topic! Building your professional network.
Networking is vital for those who want to move up in their career.
According to HubSpot, 85% of jobs are filled through networking. In fact, according to CNBC, 70% of jobs are never published publicly. So, you might need to have some inside connections. But networking is natural to some and terrifying to others.
Don’t fret! We are going to give tips and tricks for all personality types!
This week's pop culture references include Goodfellas, Breakfast Club, Network, nepo babies, Steven Spielberg, Smartless podcast, Lego Batman, The Social Network, and how building a network is like building a $2MM 401K.
Please share with your friends and you enemies. You never know where your next network connection may come from.
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Hello everybody! Thank you for joining and welcome to Episode 11 of FOBO. I am your friendly neighborhood product owner, Tom Auld.
This week we kick off a whole new topic. Building a professional network.
Networking is vital for those who want to move up in their career. According to HubSpot, 85% of jobs are filled through networking. In fact, according to CNBC, 70% of jobs are never published publicly.
So, you might need to have some inside connections.
But networking is natural to some and terrifying to others.
Don’t fret! We are going to give tips and tricks for all personality types!
Grab a coffee, tea, or your favorite adult beverage, and let’s talk about staying relevant at work.
In the January 16, 2023, episode of the SmartLess podcast, Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett (Lego batman graphic) interview legendary filmmaker, Steve Spielberg.
“Fear if my fuel”, Spielberg said.
This is a legend in his field who has:
· 3 academy awards
· 6 golden globes
· 4 Emmy awards
· 3 Directors Guild of America Awards
· 4 BAFTA Awards
If this legend is fearful in his career, I think it ok for us to be a little fearful too.
But that is why we are here! To turn our fear into fuel.
So, let’s talk about Networking!
To start, let’s define networking:
Business networking is the process of building professional relationships and connections with individuals and organizations in order to,
o exchange information
o share resources and
o share career and business opportunities.
It’s a group of people who know each other, share a common interest, and are committed to helping each other succeed.
Think of Facebook. The original online social network. We connect with people, share photos, recipes, and news. We share and in return, others share back. (Even when you don’t want them too sometimes J)
Now transfer that concept to your career…sounds a bit like LinkedIn…
Why Network? Why do I need to do this? You ask…
Networking is a great way to meet people who may become your employers or business partners someday.
When hiring, organizations have the incredibly tough task of picking one person from hundreds of applicants. Choosing somebody they know and have interacted with before is an easier decision than selecting someone they’ve never met or only met through a brief interview.
The same goes for business partnerships. Clients want to work with professionals they trust. Networking is the primary way to build that trust.
Networking is essential to getting acquainted with those in your industry so that they can become your client, partner, or employer someday.
We have an area in our career that we are either good at, interested in, or curious about, so we search out others with this same interest and share our experiences, ideas, and questions.
Sometimes we are asking for help, sometimes we are giving help.
“But isn’t doing a good job at work, enough? Won’t my employer recognize my skills and keep me employed? Maybe…but…”
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates the average person changes jobs about 12 times over the course of their career. For a 35 year career, that means you are changing jobs about once every 3 years!
Having a strong network in place can help you identify opportunities and navigate the challenges of the job market before the job market dictates to you what your future is.
Before getting into details and ideas, let’s talk about the mindset of building a network.
This is not something you do overnight. This is something you spend an hour a week on here and there.
It’s the accumulation of these small investments that will add up over time. Think of it like your retirement account.
In your 20s, you start by putting 15% of your salary into your 401K. (Susie Orman quote).
Start with a $50,000 salary and plan for a 4% annual raise. You contribute 15% of your salary to your 401K.
Assuming an annual rate of return on investment of 7%, after 35 years of contributing 15% of 401k account balance could grow to approximately $2,050,000.
So, if you start this at 25, by age 60, you have over $2MM.
The same is true with your professional network. You start with 3-4 key people or groups and establish those relationships.
Each year you add some additional connections.
By the time you are 10-15 years in your career, you have a large network of people that you can help and that you can ask for help.
As somebody later in their career, I can tell you how lucky I am that there are a group of people that I could turn to for help if my career situation would turn upside down.
So how do you get started? Does the thought of this excite you or terrify you?
Well either way, come back next week and let’s get into the exact steps you can take to grow a network and stay relevant at work.
So, how did we do today? Did you get any value from this topic?
Did we miss something? Do you have a networking success story to share? Maybe a networking horror story to share? Please drop those in the comments.
We appreciate you engaging with the FOBO community.
Come back next week when we will focus on the delicate art of self-promotion. How do you self-promote at work without appearing arrogant. I hope you will join us.
Please like and comment. Share it with a friend, share it with an enemy. You never know where your next network connection could come from.
I am Tom Auld, your friendly neighborhood product-owner, signing off. Have a VALUABLE week. Take care.