One Lesson About Well Digging That Can Save Your Career

One of the most powerful phrases I’ve encountered (apart from “You’re the pilot in the meatsuit!”) is: It’s not about what you know, but who you know.

It’s an interesting concept. For the longest time, I’ve prided myself in becoming a ‘one man army’. I’ve been building up all sorts of skills – becoming a swiss army knife if you will. Of course, over time, I’ve built up a number of additional areas of deep expertise to kind of even it out.

But this concept – where ‘who’ you know matters more than ‘what’, is an intriguing one. I notice that I’ve been lacking on this front. I’ve not been investing enough time into networking – and it’s starting to show – somewhat.

I realize that I’ve been approaching this a slightly different way – and I’ve ended up with a small group of people who can help me achieve my goals. And that’s when I thought… Macha.. we should scale this up.

With that, I present to you: Biggest Career Mistakes To Avoid #7: Not Digging Your Well Before You Need It.

Read on.

007 Not Digging Your Well Before You Need It
007 Not Digging Your Well Before You Need It

Situation

  • Others seem to have a wonderful network that gets them everything
    • One post on LinkedIn gets them everything they need
    • They always know someone somewhere
    • They’re able to get the right job, referral, pitch, contract – anything they need
  • Your network is not as useful as you would like it to be
    • You notice some reluctance to help you
      • And when the help comes through, it may not be as good
    • After a while, your contacts don’t help
      • They may stop ignoring you as well
  • You don’t have the right connections
    • The right doors do not open for you
    • You don’t get the right opportunities
    • And even if you had the connections and the opportunities, things move forward at a snail’s pace

Cause

  • You’ve not networked right
    • Remember: It’s not about what you know, but it’s about who you know
      • And how well you know them
      • Someone who doesn’t know you well will not help you much
    • You’ve not invested in the relationship
      • You reach out to people only when you need something
      • You are transactional in your relationships
      • And rarely do you offer anything in return

Answer

  • Networking is not just about establishing contact
    • You have to age and ascend the relationship as well
      • Think of them as a friend
        • Build trust
      • Not an robot to do your bidding
    • Invest in the relationship
      • Help them achieve their goals
      • Give before you ask
      • Do NOT connect only before you need it
    • Deposit goodwill into the relationship account before you withdraw
      • Kinda like the mafia bosses
      • You want people to owe you favours
      • Otherwise, why would people want to help you?
  • Network strategically
    • Look at what you may need in the future
      • Who could be helpful to know in the future?
      • Who could be the…
        • Gatekeeper?
        • Decision maker?
        • Influencer?
        • Ally?
        • Potential competitor?
        • Potential enemy?
        • Quest giver?
          • Someone who has a problem that you could solve
          • Role Playing Game term!
      • Think long term
        • At least 6 months
        • Even longer!
    • Look for people who can benefit by what you have to offer
      • If you’re unsure of your skills, think of…
        • Your connections
        • Your ideas
        • Your effort
        • Your visibility
        • Your network/influence
      • Try to think of the world from the other person’s perspective
        • What could be useful/beneficial to them?
        • This is a learned skill
    • 30 E.P.I.C Career Upgrades
      • Entire upgrade about networking
      • Includes tools and templates you can use to do this well
        • Companion Workbook & Template sheet

Result

  • You have a group of people
    • In whom you have invested your time and effort
    • From whom you have asked nothing, but only given
    • With whom you’ve built a relationship
    • With whom you’ve established trust
    • Whom you’ve helped
    • And most importantly
      • Who are willing and able to help you
        • Use this relationship well

Your Turn

  • Look at your existing relationships that you want to strengthen
  • Identify new relationships you want to build
  • Start to invest in those relationships

Brought to you by Epic Career Labs

Run by Arvindh Sundar

  • Goal: Increase Job Security With E.P.I.C Transformations
  • Mission: Liberate a million millennials from an unsatisfying career
  • Get in touch at arvindh@epiccareerlabs.com

There’s a course that can help fix most of these

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About the author

Arvindh Sundar

I help working professionals find direction, take control and build an epic career using the power E.P.I.C Transformation. This is the content I have created to help others. I hope it's useful to you as well. If you like this and find it useful, join the community here.

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