Careers, Job Search, Networking, career advice, career management, job seekers

Success: Is it all about WHO you know?

Mary Rosenbaum | October 19th, 2015


Is it all about WHO you know and not WHAT you know? The answer is yes and no. WHO you know can help get you in the running for that promotion, that job, that piece of new business. WHAT you know will help you turn possibilities into reality.

Studies over the past couple of years have proven that larger, diversified networks have a significant impact on your career and your earning capability. The relationship between network size, quality and expected wages is positive. The results of studies over the past 20 years reinforce the fact that wage rates of the most well connected are 15% to 25% higher than those with few connections.

The importance of growing your network cannot be overstated. But the value of your network lies not solely in the numbers. The quality of its members is a vital component. Two of my past posts focused on growing your network and building your tribeBut what about the quality of your network?

Your network consists of two categories of members: those with whom you have close ties and those with weak ties.

Close ties are those relationships where people know you well and understand what you do. You already know many of their contacts and the type of information they can provide. Generally, you travel in the same circles, belong to many of the same social groups, and may even work in the same company or industry.

Weak ties are the opposite. You know them but are not close. You don’t travel in all the same circles therefore you are not familiar with their networks. Because they are not in your immediate circle, they have information and contacts that may prove to be valuable for you, your career and your business. In fact, it’s through weak ties that the majority of leads are disseminated regarding employment and business opportunities. In short, weak ties enable you to reach populations and audiences that are not accessible via strong ties.

Not to confuse things but “followers” on social media networks do not generally fall into the category of weak ties. Although the broad definition of weak ties may fit, you still have to have some form of relationship built on trust, contact, or experience in order for there to be any form of information and contact sharing that extends beyond the superficial. Unless you build a relationship beyond 140 characters your followers cannot be considered weak ties.

What can you do to increase your network in a purposeful way?

First and foremost, ensure that you continue to deepen your close relationships so that you can each act as brand ambassadors for the other. Although they may have more limited resources to share it’s always valuable to have people who are “in your corner.” Their role as advisors, supporters, and cheerleaders is vital to maintaining your confidence and continued professional growth.

To grow your network of weak ties, seek out opportunities where you can meet people from different backgrounds:

- join organizations not related to what you do

volunteer at nonprofits outside your immediate community

keep in touch with former colleagues since their network will be different once they leave

strengthen relationships with “followers” and LinkedIn connectionsso there can be more meaningful reciprocity in sharing information and contacts

attend events that interest you and are outside your immediate sphere of influence

take new classes and expand your horizons

Grow WHO you know with purpose so you can showcase WHAT you know.

What other ways do you grow your network?

Want to discuss this in person? Contact me.


Want a Career Lift? How to Get and Keep a Sponsor

Mary Rosenbaum | June 9th, 2015

WE ALL WANT THIS – someone who is committed to helping us achieve our career goals – someone who will open the right doors, introduce us to the right people, recommend us for the projects we want, the positions we want, the clients we want, and the raises we want. SOMEONE WHO WILL FIGHT FOR US.

That someone who is committed to helping you is a sponsor, not to be confused with a mentor. A sponsor provides strategic input and makes it happen. A sponsor is an active advocate who will use his/her influence to spotlight you and your achievements so as to enable you to reach your goals. A sponsor is usually one or two levels above your direct manager in a large company or a founder/president of a small company. A sponsor does not necessarily work in your company but is in a position to use their network, knowledge and experience to open doors and be your brand ambassador.

By contrast, a mentor plays a more passive role. He/she is someone who can help you navigate your company, answer your questions, provide you with constructive criticism and suggest ways to improve your work product. A mentor is usually one level above you but can be more senior depending on the organization.

So how do we get want we want?

FINDING (AND KEEPING) A SPONSOR

1. Find the right person. In order to ensure a strong sponsor/protégé relationship, look for someone who embodies your same values, whose strengths you value, who has not only the seniority to help you but the network you seek to penetrate.

- Identify the senior managers who benefit from the results of the projects you complete and seek out opportunities to make an introduction.

- Attend corporate events and introduce yourself at meetings and events.

- Join and actively engage in outside organizations where you can demonstrate your expertise (charitable, community, educational, professional) and gain exposure to higher level professionals and/or those with strong influence.

- At times you can convert a mentor/mentee relationship into a sponsor/protégé relationship if your mentor has the skills, seniority, and network that you seek and the willingness to make the shift.

Finding the right sponsor who wants to take on the role takes time and research but is well worth the effort.

2. Leave mediocrity at the door. Do your best work – ALWAYS. You have to be noticed and recognized as someone who can deliver superior work each and every time. Volunteer for projects, especially the ones where your potential sponsor would be likely to hear about or benefit from the results.

In order for your sponsor to go out on the limb for you, he/she must be confident that you won’t tarnish their reputation, their personal brand. Once the relationship is secure, you become their brand ambassador – your work reflects on them and their leadership skills.

3. Ask for what you want and be specific. Once you have identified a potential sponsor, ask for a meeting. Once there, you can describe your background, highlight your successes and skills, and most importantly, be specific in describing your immediate and long-term career goals. Ask for criticism and advice on how to achieve the goals you set for yourself given the background you described.

Remember, you’re not asking for a job; you’re asking for professional advice.

4. Are you sponsor worthy? How does your personal brand stand up? Once you ask, you can be sure that inquiries will be made regarding you, your work, the value you provide, and how you fit in with the culture of the organization. Make sure your reputation, your personal brand, is as strong as you described. If not, put some work into how you are viewed, your visibility and your credibility before you make the ask.

5. Give as good as you get. Since the sponsor/protégé relationship is somewhat symbiotic, it’s equally important the sponsor you select can benefit from your strengths and your network as well. A mutually beneficially relationship is what will make it a successful one. Loyalty and trust is the bedrock of this relationship.

Keep them in the loop on topics that might be of interest and help to them – your network and your perspective differ from theirs, so your opinions count. Offer assistance whenever possible in helping them achieve their goals both inside and outside the organization.

6. Keep the lines of communication open and constant. Ask for and accept feedback, provide updates on your progress, check in regularly (in person, on the phone and via email). Silence and an unwillingness to accept criticism will kill the relationship.

7. Pay it forward. Become a sponsor yourself. It’s never too early to take on this valuable role – because both the sponsor and the protégé benefit from this relationship. As mentioned earlier, good protégés help their sponsors by supporting them and providing them with valuable input. Building a team of loyal, trustworthy, accomplished professionals reflects back on your leadership skills and enhances your personal brand.

Additionally, your sponsors bask (professionally) in your success when you grow your network of protégés.

8. Don’t limit yourself to one sponsor. As your career progresses, your needs will change. Adding to your arsenal of supporters can only enhance your career progression. But remember, maintaining each relationship takes work, a time commitment, loyalty, and a responsibility to deliver on your promise of excellence and support. So choose carefully and choose wisely.

If you have any additional comments and suggestions please let us know.

Mary Rosenbaum is a Master Certified Personal Branding Strategist and Career Management Coach who works with professionals and entrepreneurs. Equipped with an MBA in Finance and with over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and a career professional and 10 years in business and finance, Mary helps clients define goals, identify and highlight relevant talents and skills, and ensure that past achievements connect directly with future rewards. Success is defined as clarity of vision, differentiation from competitors, and the visibility and credibility necessary to capitalize on opportunities. For more information email email hidden; JavaScript is required


How To Create A Memorable Elevator Pitch

Mary Rosenbaum | March 9th, 2015

What type of reaction do you get when you introduce yourself at a conference, meeting or networking event? So much has been written about the elevator pitch yet most people still have a hard time making it sound compelling, authentic and memorable.

I attended an event a few weeks ago and was surprised at how people described themselves when asked about their job or business. It was as if they had memorized a speech – not a long one of course because this was their elevator pitch, but they sounded canned and well rehearsed. Needless to say, they weren’t memorable.

If you are doing something you enjoy and are good at, describing it to anyone else should be easy; it should flow. And even more importantly, it should excite or create interest in the listener. Instead these descriptions sounded as if they were reading a label describing the contents of some packaged food product. Even worse were some of the catch phrases like – “problem-meister” – cute but could be off-putting to some.

When deciding on what to include in your introduction, think in terms of what you want them to remember about you. Here are some ideas you might want to include.

Your Introduction Should Answer These Questions

- What you do?

- Who you do it for?

- What are your deliverables (the pain points you eliminate)?

- Why should I hire or use you?

You Want To Tell Them Why

Adding some insight into who you are and why you do what you do provides an excellent foundation for connecting with other people. We always look for some commonality when we meet someone new. Sharing a passion or interest, especially if it relates to what you do opens the door for further conversation. So answer:

- What am I passionate about?

- How does my work help me feed that passion?

- What makes me feel good about what I do?

Give Them Results – Validation

- How has my experience enabled me to be successful in the work I do?

- How does the work I do satisfy my clients’/company’s needs and goals?

Be Genuine

Authenticity is magnetic. If what you say is genuine, this will elicit further questions not only about your service or work, but about you as well.

Mix It Up

Whenever I introduce myself, I have a different way of saying it each time. Although there are points I want to make, by not memorizing a script it’s more authentic and can be geared specifically to the audience I am addressing. By trying out different introductions I get a much better sense of what resonates with my audience.

Now give it try and put more of yourself into your introduction or pitch.

Need help strengthening your brand positioning? Whether you’re looking for a job or seeking a promotion, and you want to take control of your career, let’s talk about how I can help. Contact me.


Personal Branding on Steroids: Networking That Works FOR You

Mary Rosenbaum | February 24th, 2015

Networking is at the root of a lot of the work I do with clients, whether they are looking for a job, seeking career advancement, or want to increase their client list. Effective networking is Personal Branding on steroids. The more people know what you do and how you do it, the more you become known for your areas of expertise.

What I have found is that most of us disregard an entire group of people when we think about spreading our personal brand – our family and friends. Many of us tend to regard our family and friends differently than we do our “professional network.” Yet this is the group that has the potential to be our best brand ambassadors.

What do I mean by that? This example should help clear this up:

I was visiting with friends some time ago and inquired about someone they had known for years who had recently gone into consulting. It took them many attempts to try to identify what specialty their friend provided. They finally gave up and admitted that they really didn’t know. What if I was someone who could use this person’s services or be able to refer him to someone I knew that might need what he provides. But that will never happen.

Are your family and friends good ambassadors for letting others know what you do professionally, what your goals are, or what you are trying to achieve? Our expanded network includes not only the people we know but extends to those known to our immediate network. Just look at your LinkedIn numbers and you’ll see the scope of how your potential professional network exceeds your immediate contacts.

And with family and friends, we often overlook what I call “low hanging fruit” because we put them into different categories than we do our professional contacts.

It is important to communicate and define your brand to those you are close to in addition to those you know professionally. An integral part of personal branding is communicating what you want others to know about you and to brand those ideas and words in the minds of others so when they describe you to people they know, those are the words that will come to mind.

In providing your friends and family with information, it would be beneficial to:

  • Give them a detailed description of the type of work you do, the skills you employ in your work, the companies or industries you have worked for or the type of projects you have completed. Tell those stories that “show” your skills and that’s what they will remember.
  • Provide them with an understanding of what you need – if it’s a job or a role you want to play within an organization, be specific as to what you want to do (not only the title you want), if it’s clients you want then what type of clients would be suitable.
  • Let them know what your qualifications are so they have a clear picture of who you are, and consequently, they can more easily convey your expertise to others.

You need to let them know what you are good at, what makes you good at it (your validation), who you work with or for, and what you want or need. Don’t overlook the value of this type of “word of mouth” advertising. So go ahead, ask your friends if they can describe you in a way that conveys your expertise as well as your needs and wants. If not, get to work and spread the word.


Magic Bullets? No. Necessary Steps? Absolutely. Job Search Advice.

Mary Rosenbaum | November 21st, 2013

A job search, even in the best of times can take upwards of 6 months. And depending on the type of job, the job market and the economy, it can take even longer. The reality is, looking for a job IS a job and involves a lot of work.  Taking short cuts can only hurt you as you burn your way through contacts rather than solidifying them and turning them into connections.

Would you go into a meeting or presentation without the right materials, without knowing what has to be emphasized, without a full understanding of the topic you will be addressing? Of course not. Yet, many people go into a job search or into an interview without the right collateral materials, the right pitch, or even without a game plan.

Based on my experience as a coach and as a recruiter, I have listed some basics you have to have in place to run a successful search. These basics are not magic bullets nor is this list comprehensive. But if you can check them off, the search process will run more smoothly, will provide a better foundation for your career moves in the future, and may even shorten the time it takes to find what you’re looking for.

Here goes:

1. A branded resume that focuses on your successes and achievements, one that is written with your desired job in mind. This isn’t about providing a laundry list of each and every responsibility you had in your past jobs. It should be focused on your accomplishments, what you are known for, and how you want to be described.

2. A targeted networking plan. Who needs to know about you? Who can help you get in front of those people? Who can provide you with insight into the industry and the current employment situation? Who is well connected, not only in the industry but in general? Remember that second and third degree contacts are critical to expanding your network.

3. A few sentences that other people can use when describing who you are, what you do, the value you provide and what you are looking for. You have to brand these words into the minds of everyone you meet so they can then repeat them when describing you to others.

4. A great introductory email/bio/letter to send to those people that don’t know you. In as few words as possible, make what you write compelling enough for them to want to respond. I am not advocating sending out cold emails. In fact, I think that’s not a great way to go. This type of communication should be used when someone is lending their name to the introduction – that way, you have a better chance that someone will read it and respond to it.

5. Know what your “ask” is of every meeting, encounter, email. Connect the dots and don’t assume someone will connect them for you.

6. Create a follow up plan for every successful contact you make. This doesn’t mean you should make a pest of yourself but rather that you ensure that potential meaningful relationships don’t fall through the cracks and disappear.

7. Pull together your story of where you have been, where you are, and where you want to go so that it all ties together and lets the listener know that you are in control of your career and that each decision had a purpose.

8. Turn your current style of networking into a more forward thinking approach of building foundations for relationships that last beyond your next job.

If you have anything else you want to add or have some additional job search tips, please let us know.

Need help articulating your value and developing your plan, contact me.


Success: Is it All About WHO You Know?

Mary Rosenbaum | May 22nd, 2012

Is it all about WHO you know and not WHAT you know? The answer is yes and no. WHO you know can help get you in the running for that promotion, that job, that piece of new business. WHAT you know will help you turn possibilities into reality.

Studies over the past couple of years have proven that larger, diversified networks have a significant impact on your career and your earning capability. The relationship between network size, quality and expected wages is positive. The results of studies over the past 20 years reinforce the fact that wage rates of the most well connected are 15% to 25% higher than those with few connections.

The importance of growing your network cannot be overstated. But the value of your network lies not solely in the numbers. The quality of its members is a vital component. Two of my past posts focused on growing your network and building your tribe. But what about the quality of your network?

Your network consists of two categories of members: those with whom you have close ties and those with weak ties.

Close ties are those relationships where people know you well and understand what you do. You already know many of their contacts and the type of information they can provide. Generally, you travel in the same circles, belong to many of the same social groups, and may even work in the same company or industry.

Weak ties are the opposite. You know them but are not close. You don’t travel in all the same circles therefore you are not familiar with their networks. Because they are not in your immediate circle, they have information and contacts that may prove to be valuable for you, your career and your business. In fact, it’s through weak ties that the majority of leads are disseminated regarding employment and business opportunities. In short, weak ties enable you to reach populations and audiences that are not accessible via strong ties.

Not to confuse things but “followers” on social media networks do not generally fall into the category of weak ties. Although the broad definition of weak ties may fit, you still have to have some form of relationship built on trust, contact, or experience in order for there to be any form of information and contact sharing that extends beyond the superficial. Unless you build a relationship beyond 140 characters your followers cannot be considered weak ties.

What can you do to increase your network in a purposeful way?

First and foremost, ensure that you continue to deepen your close relationships so that you can each act as brand ambassadors for the other. Although they may have more limited resources to share it’s always valuable to have people who are “in your corner.” Their role as advisors, supporters, and cheerleaders is vital to maintaining your confidence and continued professional growth.

To grow your network of weak ties, seek out opportunities where you can meet people from different backgrounds:

- join organizations not related to what you do

- volunteer at nonprofits outside your immediate community

- keep in touch with former colleagues since their network will be different once they leave

- strengthen relationships with “followers” and LinkedIn connections so there can be more meaningful reciprocity in sharing information and contacts

- attend events that interest you and are outside your immediate sphere of influence

- take new classes and expand your horizons

Grow WHO you know with purpose so you can showcase WHAT you know.

What other ways do you grow your network?

Get my free report on Getting Visible and Getting Ahead. Learn more about my services, about me, or contact me for more information.

Connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn. Let’s get to know each other better.


9 Steps to Building Your Network: Learn From Strong Leaders

Mary Rosenbaum | November 29th, 2011

One of the benefits I derive from working with clients on their 360 assessments is the ability to see how certain skills and talents appear consistently in the assessments of many successful professionals and leaders.

One of the key brand attributes that usually ranks near the top is their ability to build vast networks and communities across their companies, their industries, as well as outside their immediate sphere of influence.

What is it about them or what do they do that makes them such great networkers and community builders?

Based on my analysis, I see it as a combination of specific actions geared to building a network, modifying some behavioral traits so you are someone who is sought out by others, and leading with those values that makes others want to be in your network or community.

Actions:

1. Provide great follow up. Timely follow-up is the first step for turning a casual encounter into a strong tie.

2. Develop good listening skills. Communication must be a two-way street. Some people have said the ratio should be 80% listening and 20% talking. Real relationships are built on learning how others think and what they need.

3. Be helpful. In order to build relationships, giving is even more important than getting. Provide assistance, make connections, and reach out on behalf of others. Make sure that your helpfulness is not geared to getting something in return.

4. Stay committed. You must be committed to building and growing your network- it takes a lot of energy to seek out those who you can help and who can ultimately develop into your brand ambassadors.

5. Be dedicated. Building a strong network across the various areas of your life takes time and patience – and lots of it. Make sure you dedicate the time necessary each week to building your community.

Behavioral Magnets:

6. Be positive. A positive attitude is a magnet. People like to be around you when you give off positive energy. The glass half-full always trumps half-empty.

7. Spread your enthusiasm. A can-do approach makes you someone who others seek out. It is like putting out a welcome mat. Genuine enthusiasm is contagious and helps motivate others to action.

Lead With Your Values:

8. Be trustworthy. Trust is the basic building block for growing any relationship. It is also the basis for doing or being in business with anyone.

9. Be sincere. Inauthenticity is easily seen and felt. Give, help, listen, and befriend, because it benefits them, not you.

So whether you are a salesperson, an entrepreneur, a lawyer, a manager, a small business owner, or new to your leadership role, following these steps can help you grow your network, build out your community, and achieve the success you want.

I know there must be others to add to this list. Please share them with us.

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years Mary Rosenbaum empowers careerists and entrepreneurs to gain greater clarity and more effectively communicate their unique promise of value. Strong leadership means leading with your strengths. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Follow me on Twitter @Careersguru


Grow Your Network – Leverage Your Brand

Mary Rosenbaum | November 2nd, 2011

Part of leveraging your personal brand is communicating it to and connecting with people who are in your target audience. After all, you want those people who are in a position to be your brand ambassadors to know about you.

The key is to expand your target audience beyond its current parameters – but in a meaningful way. This is not a numbers game. I am not encouraging you to increase your followers on Twitter, friends on Facebook or contacts on LinkedIn. Instead I am advocating a deepening of those relationships if they merit it and expanding your circle to include others that fit your parameters.

What do I mean by that?  Take a look at your existing network. A good way to do that is to look at your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter contacts and how they aggregate. Are they relationships that can expand your reach into communities that include your target audience? If so, do they have a good understanding of the value your bring to your organization or your clients? Can they be your brand ambassadors? A broadening and deepening of your relationships will ensure that the answer to those questions is yes.

Clients always ask, “how can I expand my network?” If you work inside an organization, don’t make the mistake of just focusing on your managers and co-workers. It’s just as important to communicate and ultimately develop relationships with those outside your organization. When you think about it the people you know and communicate with regularly (those you work with and for) already have a pretty good idea of who you are and the value you provide. It’s those people outside your organization and outside your close friends network that are the ones who can provide you with:

-     new information

-     new ideas

-     new contacts

-     exposure to different opportunities

Here are some ideas for expanding your network.

-     Join an organization – professional or not for profit. Participate in a meaningful way so you can form relationships and allow your personal brand to shine through.

-       Increase your communication with people you see only once or twice a year. If possible, off-line always trumps on-line.

-       Introduce your friends and professional contacts to each other. Be generous with your contacts and they will be eager to reciprocate.

-       Contribute to the success of others. The goodwill that generates from this practice is priceless.

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years Mary Rosenbaum empowers careerists and entrepreneurs to gain greater clarity and more effectively communicate their unique promise of value. Being a strong leader means leading with your strengths. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Follow me on Twitter @Careersguru


Spread Your Thought Leadership, Spread Your Brand

Mary Rosenbaum | April 12th, 2011

How can you use thought leadership as a way of growing your business, improving your career positioning, or getting a job? Expressing your thought leadership is an excellent way to “show” rather than “tell” those who matter to you what you can do for them and how you do it. It enables you to differentiate yourself and stand out from the competition. It lets you “show your stuff” and solidify your personal brand in the minds of others.

There are many obvious ways of doing this such as writing articles for trade journals, speaking at events, creating your own events, participating in group on-line discussions, participating in professional associations, collaborating, etc. But before you even think about which road you want to take you should do some research and take the following questions and comments into consideration.

1. Who is in your target audience? Who are the people you want to get in front of? Are they decision makers or the ones who influence the decision makers? Which segment of the population are you addressing? The most productive use of your time would be to focus on a concentrated area or demographic and penetrate it more effectively through increased exposure.

2. What are their needs and pain points? How can you help them? Clearly identifying your target audience enables you to pinpoint and address their specific needs. Do the necessary research to find out what keeps them up at night. Provide value and stand out or you will end up being nothing more than white noise – easy to ignore. Stay current and timely, adding a twist or different point of view on information that may already be out there.

3. What do you like doing and what are you good at - speeches, written product, interviews? Focus on what you like doing and you’ll have a better chance of being consistent and constant in your delivery.

4. Where should your thought leadership be showcased? Whether it’s a blog, guest posts, newspapers, seminars, or special events your company develops, blanketing areas where your target audience lives is the best way to attain the visibility and credibility you want. Once you have captured your target audience’s attention and earned their following, your reputation, your brand, will expand beyond this group.

5. Patience and determination go a long way in building your thought leadership. It takes time for people to trust you, your information, and what you have to offer. Constant relevant exposure over a long period of time will help you build a consistent and growing following.

The rest is up to you. Do you have other ways of developing your thought leadership? Let us know what worked for you.

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years Mary Rosenbaum empowers careerists and entrepreneurs to gain greater clarity and more effectively communicate their unique promise of value. Strong leadership means leading with your strengths. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Follow me on Twitter @careersguru


Build Your Tribe of Supporters: Who Is In Your 150?

Mary Rosenbaum | November 19th, 2010

How many people do you know with whom you have a real relationship.? When I look at the numbers of contacts/friends/followers that some people have on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter it appears there are many people who have hundreds and even thousands on their list.

The proliferation of social media sites has created an environment where being “connected” with someone does not have the same connotation it once did. There seems to be some confusion about the value of these contacts and what it really means. Social media enables you to get the word out to vast numbers of people in a very short period of time. On such a vast scale, social media should not be confused with relationship building. Sometimes relationships develop, but those are isolated instances rather than common place occurrences.

Robin Dunbar is the director of the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford University, author of How Many Friend Does One Person Need? According to Mr. Dunbar, 150 people are the most any one person can be in a relationship with involving trust and obligation. These are relationships where there is some personal history, not just names and faces and perhaps the occasional shared tweet. The reason for this is simple, it takes energy, time, and mental capacity to build and maintain relationships. According to our brain capacity, 150 is the limit.

Beyond the 150 number, the tie that binds you to greater numbers of people are superficial and never extend beyond the occasional message, tweet, or shared photo. Social media has created a new way for you to “keep in touch” with those you would probably never have contact with again before these vehicles became so prominent.

The question I have is if you are spreading yourself thin by trying to maintain some form of relationship with vast numbers of people, are you diluting even the ones that would fall into the category of “real” relationships? Are you confusing followers with supporters?

I think instead of trying to grow your contacts or following by including large numbers of people who you cannot develop any sort of relationship with, your time might be better spent deepening the ones that could be part of your tribe - those who support you and what you do and those you can support in return.

The challenge is to increase the breadth of your relationships without sacrificing the depth. There are many ways to increase your tribe to ensure that the connections between all of you continue to provide value to everyone involved. So ask yourself:

Have I succeeded in deepening my relationships to a level where I can provide support?

How many meaningful relationships do I have?

Am I anywhere near my Dunbar number of 150?

Do I have the right people in my 150?

If not, what steps can I take to move myself forward?


Utilizing her experience of over 25 years Mary Rosenbaum helps careerists and entrepreneurs position themselves so they can stand out from the competition. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Follow me on Twitter @Careersguru