The 10 kinds of people you should know in your career – Now People often say it’s not what you know but who you know when you’re looking for a job. But what about when you already have a job you enjoy, and just want to boost your career a bit? It’s nice to have a mentor to guide you along your path to career success. But it’s even better to have a team of people behind you – all with specific skills. The Mentor Everyone knows how valuable it can be to have a mentor. You can learn from their success, and benefit from their mistakes by not repeating them. When you think back in your life to someone you admire, that person was probably a mentor whether you realized it or not. Mentors can help you get to the next level by encouraging you to reach for higher goals, take steps to push yourself to succeed, help you stay accountable to your goals and encourage you not to give up. The perfect mentor is one who is experienced in an area where you may need a little bit of extra help and can help you to gain applicable knowledge or experience. The Visionary A visionary is always meeting new people and moving forward with new ideas and projects. You might find one at a seminar or event in your field – maybe someone who is a speaker or asking interesting questions. Or maybe it’s someone you meet at a networking event that just really energizes you. However or wherever you meet, a visionary can help motivate and inspire you. The Idealist No matter how “out there” your ideas might be, this person can help you brainstorm ways to make it happen. With the idealist, you don’t have to have a solid plan in place because they will help you turn your dreams into reality. The Realist Speaking of reality, a realist is the person in your network who will keep you grounded and create a nice balance with the visionary and the idealist. The realist will help you organize your thoughts and create a plan for approaching a specific topic. Unlike a pessimist, who might shut down your ideas, a realist will help you find ways to improve on your ideas and think clearly and level-headedly. Realists tend to know what needs to be done and how to get to the next level. They are often people moving up in their careers and getting promotions. The Librarian The librarian can show you resources you may not have known about. Just like a real librarian who can find every book in the library, a business librarian can help you navigate an organization or community and find resources to help you along your way. They know how to do just about anything in their organization and have hidden resources that can help you avoid, reinventing the wheel when you’re working on a project. The Thinker Why not connect with people who help you see things differently and broaden your perspective? Smart people can help you think differently because they ask tough questions and don’t mind pushing the envelope every now and then. It’s good to be around people you don’t always agree with. Your career and business decisions won’t always be right or wrong, so people that challenge you to think, even if it’s because you disagree with them, can be a great check and balance. The Connector The connector is a people person that has a huge network beyond LinkedIn and who seems to know and have relationships with just about everyone. Even if this person can’t help you directly, with all of their connections, he or she will point you in the right direction to the right person who can help you. A connector isn’t really a schmoozer – although he or she may schmooze; a connector is someone that others genuinely like and respect. The Influencer The influencer has a natural ability to make things happen, even if they aren’t a high profile leader in the company. The influencer gets people on board with ideas, gets agreement and collaboration from teams, and has a voice with senior leadership. So cozy up to an influencer because their support can help guarantee the success of what you’re working on and get you noticed in a positive way. The Trendsetter If you want someone that will keep your conversations interesting and on the cutting edge, you should have a trendsetter in your career life. This can even be someone outside of your industry, but it’s someone who always has the latest buzz on just about any topic. These are the people who might be a little less conventional (the Early Adopters) who, because they are always “in the know”, make great sounding boards for your next great idea. Since they tend to know what’s going to be the next big thing, they are a great resource for staying informed of where things may trend in the future. The Wanna Be You can serve as a mentor while you are being mentored yourself. When you shape and help guide someone else, it’s a great way to help you understand your own experiences and put them in perspective. And when you know someone else is watching or even looking up to you, it’s a great motivator to work through obstacles and achieve greater success. Good, old-fashioned networking is still good, but networking with a purpose is even better. Instead of focusing on networking and meeting as many people as possible, why not consider spending your time focusing on fewer – but more strategic – relationships? Sure, you want to have more than 10 people in your network. But if your network only includes people in the same industries, backgrounds, age groups, etc., you may be leaving potential opportunities unexplored. Enhancing your current network will help you advance your career in ways you never imagined. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply You must be logged in to post a comment.