When she was in first grade, I recall my child chiming in on conversations using the phrase, “Wait, I have a connection here!” Teachers, now, are encouraging students to relate to stories they hear or read, to make “connections” in such a way that they pull from others’ circumstances and tie it in to one of their own. While I don’t recall the same experience as a child, I do appreciate the introduction to the importance of connections.
Connections are powerful. Connections are everywhere.
“Let’s Connect.” You can hear that in conversations every day, in the workplace, at the gym, over lunch. Why? Because there’s definite heft to the concept.
Professionally, your network is likely comprised of connections. On LinkedIn, the people you reach out to are even called “connections”. To be clear, I am NOT saying that there is a direct correlation between how many LinkedIn connections (or Facebook friends) you have and how happy or how successful you are. (This is NOT an article to add another “should” on you.) Quite the opposite. I am entirely certain that you do not need 64,276 LinkedIn connections to feel secure, or successful. Rather, my purpose is to encourage you to recognize, appreciate, and build on the relationships present in all aspects of your life. Connections, of any type, are the basis for your network, whether they are courtesy of an online social network, or the carpool line, or the neighborhood pool.
Regardless of whether your connections are near or far, your network, can serve as a sort of “web of support” for you. Professionally, make the most of your network. Your network is an invaluable place to start conversations around your next steps, new hire searches, product/service recommendations – the list is endless. Your relationships are the answer to blindly sitting at the mercy of search engines. Utilizing your network, your connections, can yield results with far greater success. Think about it: would you rather spend hours modifying your key word searches, or have conversations that lead to other conversations until you realize: “Wait, I have a connection here!”
So, make connections. Maintain your connections. Treasure your connections. They may be the key to your “What’s Next”.