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Using Your Network to Jumpstart Your Career

By October 21, 2019September 21st, 2020No Comments
J. Kelly Hoey - Build Your Dream Network

Vision boards and career plans are great when you know what you want to do with your career. But what if you’re at a crossroads? When you’re befuddled and seeking career direction, turn to your network for ideas.

Key takeaways:

  • Self-assessment can limit the parameters of a career transition.
  • Those we’ve worked alongside are frequently in a much better position to assess – or unearth – our talents, and superpowers.
  • You can unearth your possibilities by diving into your past interactions and engagements (paid and voluntary) and soliciting input.
  • Key parts of an action plan:
    • What are you seeking to learn about yourself?
    • Make a list of those whose input would be helpful. Include a diverse list.
    • Craft some specific and grounded questions to ask.

What to listen for:

  • 02:04    Limits of self-assessment
  • 04:39    What are some common aversions to, and benefits of, 360 reviews?
  • 06:30    Forming your Build Your Dream Network Action Plan
  • 08:28    Example questions to get you started


“When you have no idea or you’re mulling ideas, that’s the time to tap into your network. It’s a chance to seek feedback, gather suggestions – or crowdsource ideas for your next career.” [00:56]

“We downsize our contributions, and that’s as bad as overinflating them” [02:50]

“Our networks often see bigger visions of us than we do, more possibilities in the skills we devalue, or overlook, or ignore, or don’t even know we possess.” [04:28]

“Whether you work for a company that has a formal 360 review process or not, you can unearth your possibilities by diving into your past interactions and engagements (both paid and voluntary) and solicit input.” [06:14]

“A 360 review could light the way to a new career or help you leave an unsatisfying one behind or it could provide the much-needed motivation to stick to doing what you’re already doing.” [06:58]

Discover the networking path to achieving your career dreams in Episode Five of the Build Your Dream Network podcast.

J. Kelly Hoey

J. Kelly Hoey

Kelly Hoey is the author of Build Your Dream Network (January 2017 / Tarcher Perigee). She has been lauded from Forbes (“1 of 5 Women Changing the World of VC/Entrepreneurship”) to Fast Company (“1 of the 25 Smartest Women On Twitter”) to Business Insider (“1 of the 100 Most Influential Tech Women On Twitter”) and Inc. (1 of “10 Most Well-Connected People in New York City's Startup Scene”). Empowering A Billion Women By 2020 included her on their list of the “100 Most Influential Global Leaders Empowering Women Worldwide”. Not bad for a former corporate lawyer. She’s a limited partner in two emerging tech funds (Laconia Capital Group and Lattice Ventures) and can frequently be found on Twitter @jkhoey.