Back in January 2017 I made this goal-setting suggestion:
Set smaller, achievable goals and network your way to achieving your big goal in 2017.
Let’s say your big goal this year is to land a new job. Asking your network (whether by individual emails or a Facebook post) to simply help you find a new job — is not likely to produce the response or quality leads, you’re looking for. It’s a big goal for you, but for your network it’s a vague, ambiguous one for your network (Are you looking for full-time or part-time work? Do you want to work from home or go into an office everyday? Are you willing to commute? If so, how far? and so on and so on…). Big, vague goals strain your network — because big, vague questions are hard to answer (they require a lot of work!).
I never know how to answer the big, vague networking questions I’m frequently asked, such as:
- I’m seeking a new job (resume attached), do you know of anyone looking to hire someone with my skill-set?
- I’m seeking investors for startup, who do you think I should speak to?
- We’re putting together an advisory board, who would be good?
So I rarely do. Sometimes I respond with “can you be more specific?”. More often than not however, I hit delete.
To achieve your goals you need a response from your network — not a delete.
Now that you’ve audited your network — it’s time to update your goal(s). Go back to the career goal(s) you set for yourself this year. Have you set a goal that your network can realistically help you with? Is your goal focused, precise, clear, specific….or can it be broken down further, into smaller networking goals aka “asks”? Once you add specificity to your goal (or the milestones to help you reach that bigger goal), identify the specific relationships who can help you achieve it.