We hide until it is time to seek.
Isn’t that true? Most of us want to network professionally when we seek something to gain - new job, new client, new business. If we aren’t after something, we usually choose to hole up in our comfort zone just like I want to do during Midwest winters.
I was reminded of the hiding and seeking paradox when my husband came home for lunch this week. Lunch led to chatting with our two-year-old son, which then, of course, led to a good-old-fashioned game of hide-and-seek.
And it got me thinking of how our natural state is to hide - hide behind the scroll of <insert your favorite social media> and stay in our comfortable social and professional circles UNTIL it is time to pursue something new.
What small, regular habits can we form to ‘seek’ regularly? And by that I mean build meaningful relationships within our professional network not just in seasons of a job search or a push for new clients.
Here a few of my ideas:
💡 Regularly interact with your network. Know the professionals that make up your network online and in-person. It’s as easy as commenting on another’s LinkedIn post to writing a long-form post or article of your own to create discussion. Day-to-day, go to lunch with colleagues instead of eating at your desk.
💡 Ask questions and listen. This could be as brief as actually listening to the answer after the ‘How are you?’ in the hallway at work or saying yes to coffee with those you know and even those you don’t know.
💡 Be a connector. Know people’s needs so well that you can play matchmaker within your own network. Connect those that need each other!