You are as strong as ... your network
It is not who you are, but who you know!
Who are the people who can give your career the extra boost you need? By believing in you, by offering you chances, by having listened carefully to your story but just as well through their network or by being the right man or woman in the right place? We zoom in on the five most important profiles that can help you in your search.
Do you have a good relationship with your family? Then they are probably a good reference to judge your career (choices). They see where things go wrong and whether you are still happy in your job. When you are too close to discern what is good or bad for you, ask them for advice. They know you the longest. And they too have a network. They are also the ideal sparring partner to practice with. Or to ask for honest feedback: where do they think your strengths lie? Practise your personal pitch with one of them or ask them to sketch you in five lines.
Good friends do not come around too often. You may have many acquaintances, but those few people whom you can entrust to everything are unaffordable. They will tell you the truth, give you honest feedback and remind you of your goals if you lose your focus for a moment. They listen when things are not going as they should be. They will also be honest and give you that push in the right direction when you are loosing track. Count on them for perspective and emotional support.
A good mentor can be your boss, but it could also be a colleague, a friend, a neighbour, a professor or a total stranger at the café. It is not so much about who it is, but about what they can offer/teach you. It is often someone who already has experience in the field you want to explore. Their expertise is priceless. Sometimes it is someone with certain skills who can just as well help to shape your career, even though he/she is active in a completely different sector. Maybe it is someone with a good energy that motivates you to persevere and bring you new insights. Mentors can be found everywhere, but you have to be open to, and willing to learn from them. The kind of people who see your potential and offer you opportunities. He or she will take you under his or her wings and motivate you to make the most of it. Or even better, you will automatically feel motivated to prove yourself.
All that volunteer work
Are you active as a volunteer? Here too, you have built up a network with other volunteers and with the people who run the organisation. They will be happy to reward your commitment by advising you with friends, or they will keep you in mind if they want to be a reference. Especially for starters it is useful to be able to quote them as a reference. This also applies to your internships and summer jobs!
The Career Counsellor or Recruitment Consultant
The labour market is constantly changing. You may no longer feel comfortable in the sector you chose or you feel that your talents are not optimally utilised. What do you know about these new jobs with new terms? A Recruitment Consultant can offer perspective and help you find your way in the jungle. You can contact them for advice, tips and guidance. They may ask you questions that you may not even have been thinking about and have enough experience to come up with a range of possibilities. Do not only see them as people who "put you on the grill", on the contrary, they want to get to know you better through an in-depth interview and give you direction and advice based on what you tell them. People who take their job seriously, do this with enthusiasm and dedication.
At Rainbow, you are more than welcome for an in-depth interview in the framework of finding a new professional challenge.
Do you talk to these people about your future? Then your career looks bright. If not, time to test your networking skills.