We’ve heard this said time and time again:
It’s all about who you know.
But what does that really mean?
It means that who you know can give you power. But, it also means that how well they know YOU can open doors. This about all the people in your life- mentors, teachers, professors, parents, friends, family… All of them play a very unique and special role in your life.
Check in with yourself and your network.
Draw your Network Spider Web!
To get yourself familiar with WHO is in your network and what kind of CONNECTION & RESOURCES are available for you in order to advance your career.
HOW TO CREATE YOUR NETWORK SPIDER WEB:
STEP 1: Draw a circle in the middle of a piece of paper, and write your name in the center.
Tada! This is you.
STEP 2: Map out your communities.
Think about all of the people in your life. This could be your family, your co-workers, your friends- think of all the places that you spend your time. Who you do interact with daily? Who do you interact with weekly? Who do you interact with every few months?
Draw circles for each community group (i,e. “high school”, “college”, “work”, “people I met while volunteering”) and connect them to your circle in the center of the page.
STEP 3: Create categories within each community.
Use a pen or pencil to carefully write down the names of the people within those community groups. For example college could be broken down into “professors” and “student groups.” Then, use a pen or pencil to write the names of the person within each group. Do your best to remember names and faces. Remember: this is not a popularity contest. You want to write down people that have had a powerful impact on you. Ask yourself and think: Who has helped you overcome obstacles? Who could you ask for letter of recommendation? Who always has the best advice? Who is someone that you can always count on? Write their names down.
*We recommend using a colored markers, pens, and pencils to help you see the diversity of your community. Doodle and draw symbols for each community to fill in the space. This is YOUR community map. Modify and use your creativity to make it look the way you want!
STEP 4: Reflect on these 2 questions.
1. How you occur to each community?
It is important to know how you occur for each community. This means how you behave, your characteristics, your persona. It might differ slightly with each community, and that is okay. Look at each community and as yourself: Who do they know you to be? Where you an amazing leader for you club in college? Where you an awesome organizer at your internship? Maybe you were the friend that always could make others laugh. Think about what positive qualities each community brings out of you?This exercise will also help you define your personal brand. As Jeff Bezos said,
“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” – Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.
2. What resources do they have that could be helpful to you?
Look at each person and make a note of their expertise, passions, and interests. For example, let’s say you have an upcoming essay worth 50% of your grade due for your english class. You look at your map and remember your friend, Brandon, from college that graduated year earlier as a rhetorics major… Maybe you could have him proofread your essay?
From life advice to favors, don’t be afraid to ask your community for help. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Let us know if you have any questions! We’d love your input and ideas!
Email us at email@example.com.
Here is an example: