Updated: Oct 11, 2020
The Her Next Play Career Accelerator Network hosted a Building Your Team event at Royal Foundry. Guests were informed on strategies to build relationships with mentors, sponsors, professional contacts, peers, and new friends to create the support system needed to grow their career.
Keys to Building Your Team
Approach relationship building with a long term perspective and with the intent to help others.
Be open to connecting with people of all ages and backgrounds. You'll be surprised how much your peers can help you and how fun it is to get to know different generations.
Treat all your connections with care and respect.
Relationships that are one sided don't last.
Focus on both building and maintaining relationships.
If you meet someone you like, think about how you can continue to get to know them and stay in contact.
Ways to Stand Out
Be responsive, return phone calls or emails within 24 hours.
Be friendly and professional in all your communications.
Show gratitude, write thank you notes, and think about how you can help the other person.
Be prepared to tell your story. If you can communicate your story well, others will feel comfortable making additional introductions for you.
Keep your contacts updated on how your job search, career, or life is progressing.
Find a cause you are passionate and get involved.
Join a board and develop your leadership skills.
Follow through and demonstrate commitment in your volunteer roles.
Step up and showcase your best skills when you volunteer. This will get you noticed.
Share your career aspirations with the people you meet through volunteering.
If you find someone you respect and want to learn from, ask them if they would be willing to meet periodically.
Prepare for meetings with your mentor. Develop specific questions, actively participate in the conversations, and take notes on their recommendations.
Look for ways to build the relationship and connect outside of mentor meetings.
Cold Calling/Using Your Network
Make the contact aware of the original connection or any additional connections you have with them i.e. as a fellow Gustavus alum.
Allow them up to one week to respond to your request. If you haven’t heard back, try again. Many professionals are very busy and your email may have been lost in their inbox despite their willingness to connect with you.
Try to accommodate their schedule and be flexible. Meet at a location that is convenient for them.
Look up the person on LinkedIn. Google them and try to learn about their background and interests. Look for any common connections (same school, grew up in same city, same interests, etc.).
Prepare questions ahead of time, but try to keep it conversational.