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How to Cultivate Professional Relationships

career clarity podcast episode 150: How to Cultivate Professional Relationships | Flourish Careers


When you hear the word “networking” does it make you break into a cold sweat? 

You’re not alone!

This one word alone has caused people to overthink, rethink, and sometimes held people back from making a change — all because they believe they’re not good at “networking”.

Maybe you’re an introvert? You feel you’re too shy to reach out to others.
Or maybe you don’t want to bother anyone?
Or you simply don’t have the time to network?

However, when it comes to moving into a career you love, building relationships is a critical component. 

So, what do you do?! 

I believe it’s time to rebrand the word networking

I like to think of networking as cultivating strategic relationships. Networking is not about going to a stuffy meeting with a lanyard asking strangers for a job. It’s about building relationships in a way that’s comfortable for you. 

In this podcast episode, we dive into reframing the way we think of networking and how to build relationships in an authentic way.

[2:08] Networking isn’t about asking strangers for jobs
[4:18] Changing your mindset about networking
[8:01] What to say during your first networking conversation
[11:29] Why relationship building is so important in the job search
[14:45] The importance of talking with people about who you are and what you want
[19:41] Setting up your online networking strategy
[25:12] Finding industry-specific websites + who to reach out to
[29:15] How to start networking authentically
[34:33] Real-life examples of how online networking and informational interviews can lead to a job
[37:28] How you can get started with a proactive relationship-building strategy

Action Steps to apply to YOUR journey:

  1. Begin by creating a contact list of people you would like to connect with. Having your contacts organized is a great place to start.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Friends and family
  • Recent and former colleagues
  • People in your community or your neighborhood
  • Acquaintances
  • Future colleagues

2. Leverage LinkedIn to find peers or decision-makers at your top companies. Add these contacts to your list as well. 

3. Find one person that you’re most comfortable starting this process with and connect with them. 

4. Challenge yourself to make just one new connection each week. This equals 52 new connections each year! That’s a whole new professional network that you can start building just by thinking about making one new connection a week.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Informational Interview Checklist

In the changing world of work, job searching is all about relationship building.

Use this guide to help you plan smart + strategic career conversations.

informational interview checklist - plan smart + strategic career conversations - free download


Want more career wisdom? Check out these podcast episodes/blog posts!

Why LinkedIn Is More Important Than Your Resume
The Art and Science of Interviewing
Make the Most of Your First 90 Days

For more insider stories, quick tips, and #CareerTalk, I invite you to connect with me on Instagram @flourish.careers.

May 9, 2022

How to Cultivate Professional Relationships

How to Cultivate Professional Relationships

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