Written by Jenny Blake
This image from a recent issue of the New York Times Magazine got me thinking: if we are each a solar system all our own, who is in our network's orbital pull? Will they be there when we need them most?
The infographic above was actually much larger in print—a two page spread—detailing all of Hillary Clinton's clusters of supporters, friends, and colleagues. I couldn't find the full image online, so pardon the shoddy magazine tear-out shot (click to enlarge):
The article, Planet Hillary, asks:
"The gravitational pull of a possible 2016 campaign is bringing all the old Clinton characters into her orbit. Can she make the stars align, or will chaos prevail?"
The same question could be asked of your next big leap: when you're ready to transition, will the stars align? What can you do to proactively create order out of connection chaos?
Connections are Currency
I often work with coaching clients who want to make a major career move — last month I shared a template for reaching out to your network, but the first question is: who is in your orbit in the first place?
Nurturing and intentionally growing your network are incredibly important focus areas no matter what stage you're at in your career. The following exercise is inspired by this article, and one I will surely use for myself and coaching clients moving forward!
Mind Map Your Network
- Grab a blank sheet of paper and put a circle with your name in the middle.
- Draw "planets" for each of the existing categories of your network. Some examples might include: friends, family, classmates and professors, professional mentors, co-workers, and people you admire.
- Are you missing any major categories? If so, add that category in a dotted line. For example, when I started writing Life After College I created an entire network of authors — people who I admired who I reached out to for 30-minute calls.
- Review each of your major buckets: are there individual people you want to add? Are there any existing contacts that it might be time to reach back out to?
- Make a plan. How will you reach the new people you would like to add? Set concrete action steps for the next month. If it's not a specific person, it might be a category-related action item, like "start attending entrepreneur events," or "join a local social sports team."
I'd love to hear from you in the comments:
What are the major categories of your network's solar system? Any new areas you will focus on building this year?
Life After College Coaching — 10 Spots Available for Spring
You are unsure about what you want to do next, what your strengths and values are, and how to harness them into energizing and meaningful work. Even once you do know what you want to do (or at least what industry you want to work in), you may feel lost on the practical next steps of how to actually make it happen.
Look no further! I've partnered up with an amazing coach and friend, Rebecca Fraser-Thill — a Bates College psychology professor and founder of Working Self — to launch a Spring coaching program for recent grads. We will be accepting 10 applicants for our program that kicks off in April.
Together we have over 20 years combined experience working with twenty-somethings. Both of us care deeply about helping clients find meaningful, thrilling work (and lives to match), and work collaboratively on every step of the coaching processes we’ve each refined over the years. When you sign-up to work with one of us, you’re actually getting the shared wisdom and mastermind power of both!
If we think we might be a fit for working together, one of us will reply to schedule a complimentary 30-minute get-to-know you call to go over your goals, the program details, and answer any questions. No matter what, you'll leave the call with greater clarity and a handful of resources to move you forward.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Jenny Blake is a bestselling author of Life After College, a career and business coach and an international speaker who helps smart people organize their brain, move beyond burnout, and build sustainable, dynamic careers they love. Jenny combines her love of technology with her superpower of simplifying complexity to help clients through big transitions — often to pivot in their career or launch a book, blog or business.