Creating a Successful Networking Inner Circle

career Oct 28, 2020

Throughout our professional lives, we’ll face numerous career transitions. On average, we’ll switch jobs 12 times, averaging just 5 years in any one job. And with lay-offs seemingly a constant, it’s never been more important than ever to have a strong and vibrant network, a career inner circle that will provide invaluable support as you make your next transition. 

A recent study by the Kellogg School of Management titled, “A Network’s Gender Composition and Communication Pattern Predict Women’s Leadership Success”, found that when women have a core group of close female associates (their inner circle), they are 2.5 times more likely to score a senior-level role.

The study also revealed the nature of how women share information within their networking group. Not only do women exchange knowledge and information specific to the unique challenge’s women face, but they share their larger, more extensive networking contacts, thus giving a leg-up within a competitive world. With so much of our lives spent on digital gadgets and the internet, this inner circle you create can provide that extra boost - in confidence, knowledge, and career advancement.

Here are a few tips that can help you build that inner circle!

  1. Know what you want out of the group. It’s challenging to be successful if you don’t know what you want from a group or how you want to connect. Are you:
  • Looking for business contacts
  • Looking to connect with members from a specific industry
  • Looking to connect with like-minded women for meaningful discussions
  • Looking for career advice
  • Looking for a supportive space
  • Looking for resources and tools to increase your skills
  • Looking to give back and mentor
  • Or all of the above! 

2. Find like-minded people with diverse experiences that will challenge and support you. Think about what you want to achieve. Cultivating your inner circle with people with whom you trust and have confidence in provides a supportive space where you can build, grow, and achieve your goals.

3. Work on building your career circle a little each day. This isn’t the kind of thing you should work on all day on Saturday and ignore the rest of the week. A little bit of effort each day will really pay off over time.

4. Learn something. Invest in yourself by learning something new. Sweet but Fearless offers free handouts and worksheets on our website as well as weekly podcasts featuring professional women and their stories. We’ll soon be offering online courses on a variety of career focused subjects such as creating your personal brand and strengthening your interviewing skills.

5. Be active. Staying in touch doesn’t have to be challenging or time consuming. Sometimes a quick text or phone call can make a big difference. Being Zoom fatigued and Skype tired is real. But scheduling time with your inner circle, even if it’s just to check in, can lead to pertinent conversations, fresh ideas, and a valuable contact.

6. Evaluate. Be selective with who you include in your inner circle. Knowing what you want and need from this circle of women should always be the driver as to who you let in and when to let them go. Your networking inner circle is something you will build and nurture to not only assist with your own career advancement, but also allow you to be a mentor for someone else’s career.

Remember, you’re looking for a group where the members are awesome, fearless, and show up! Be a part of the Fearless Nation!