We’ve all heard the phrase, it’s not what you know but who you know. Developing relationships and fostering them is crucial to your professional career. We know about the importance of networking when it comes to a job search, which also ties into social capital and c-level personal branding. When you help enough people get what they need, the favor will eventually be returned to you when you least expect it. People in your network may be able to offer a tremendous amount of value to you in different ways, so there’s no harm in asking for a favor if it’s done so appropriately. Just be sure you’ve built up enough social capital before doing so.
Creating Social Capital
If you don’t have a trusted network of professionals, you won’t be in a position to start building social capital. Your first step is to focus on your LinkedIn profile development and building your list of connections. Reach out to former colleagues and classmates to see what they are up to. But you don’t even have to stop there. Talk to people every chance you get, whether it’s your neighbors, people you encounter at different events you attend and more. As you start growing your list of connections, you’ll be taking steps in the right direction to build your social capital.
People Care About Relationships
As human beings, we need connections with each other. Relationships matter, even in your professional life. So as you are networking and building your personal brand, remember this. Don’t simply ask a connection for help finding a job. They will be more likely to help you if they’ve developed a good professional relationship with you over a period of time. You can do this by reaching out periodically via your LinkedIn executive profile, talking to them over the phone or even meeting with them in person occasionally. Staying in touch even when you don’t need to ask a favor is valuable and will strengthen your social capital.
Don’t Make Assumptions About Your Connections
People value authenticity, and they can see through your motives if you aren’t being authentic. Being genuine in your c-level personal branding efforts can pay dividends in the long run. You never know when someone you cross paths with can benefit your job search efforts, so treating everyone with the same amount of respect is important. The more you give, the more you will receive in return. Small daily actions to continue developing your social capital may lead you to opportunities you never thought were available otherwise.
Job searches today involve many different elements, and it can be challenging to keep all the balls in the air. It’s important to remember the value of your connections and to develop those relationships. Your social capital can go a long way in helping you achieve your career aspirations.