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5 Ways To Expand Your Network Like A High Achiever

5 Ways To Expand Your Network Like A High Achiever

You’ve probably heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” While I don’t advocate using personal relationships as leverage to get ahead in your career, especially over actually having the talent necessary to succeed. There’s nothing wrong with creating a network of qualified individuals to help you get where you want to be. But it’s not always easy to create these networks. You have to step out of your comfort zone and put yourself “out there” for the world to see. You could have all the talent in the world, but if you fail to get yourself noticed, it could end up going completely to waste.

1. Write for a variety of audiences

When I started writing for Lifehack, I was pretty excited when one of my first articles got shared over 1,000 times in one week. After about six months of creating content for Lifehack, I have had almost 200 articles published, and have over 130,000 shares under my belt. My articles have been reprinted by blogs ranging in focus from parenting and education to relationship and career advice. What started as a way for me to earn a few extra bucks here and there has turned into a full-time passion. I’ve reached more people than I ever thought possible, all because I’ve been able to write for many different purposes.

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2. Be a middleman

I’ve not only made connections for myself, but I’ve also helped connect others to each other as well. Knowing a guy who knows a guy can be an important asset for your career. It shows that you’re not just looking out for yourself; you want things to get done. It might be as simple as putting a friend with a specific talent in touch with a company who has placed an ad that you yourself aren’t qualified to answer. Doing so will also put you on the receiving company’s radar in case an opening pops up that you are qualified for.

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3. Look for a middleman

Like I said in the intro, it never hurts to have an “in.” But don’t just assume that you’re a shoe-in for a job just because you know someone that can put in a good word for you. By all means, use your connections to get your foot in the door, but once you get there, let your talents speak for themselves. If you think you can simply walk into a gig because your uncle works for the company, you’re not only going to look bad yourself, but you’re going to make your uncle look terrible, as well.

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4. Follow up when meeting someone new

When you meet someone new who piques your interest or is in a position to help you further your career, it’s incredibly important to remember them on a personal level. Take note of everything they mention upon your first meeting, such as their interests or hobbies. These little tidbits might seem inconsequential, but if you bring them up during subsequent meetings it will show that you truly pay attention to people when they speak. It will also validate you in the eyes of the person you’re trying (ever so subtly) to impress.

5. Use social networks

You know Facebook isn’t just to post pictures of your cat, and Instagram isn’t just to show off your home-cooked meals, right? Social networks are a vital tool if you want to find new opportunities to advance your career. One article or post has the potential to go viral, increasing your chances of being noticed by someone who can help you skyrocket to success. The next time you’re scrolling through your Twitter feed, think about how you could produce something on the feed that could benefit others; it will end up benefiting you in the long run.

Featured photo credit: 3D Social Networking / Chris Potter via farm9.staticflickr.com

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Published on April 16, 2019

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

When was the last time you did something for yourself?

Whether it was deciding to treat yourself with a little something or travel for some R&R, how often do you practice self-care?

Well, as good as above sounds, there’s a common misconception that many of us have about self-care: that it’s only about indulgence and enjoyment.

However, self-care goes far beyond indulgence. It’s actually about respecting your mind and body, understanding its limits, and being able to take care of every part of yourself, in a holistic way.

And, you really don’t have to go to extreme measures or do anything specific–like meditating or following a plant based diet–in order to practice self-care. You just have to make sure that what you’re doing is in your best interests.

So how can you make that happen?

Below are a few proven methods that will help you become a better version of you. Follow through with these regularly and you’ll be well on your way to living your very best life.

Listen to Yourself

The bulk of self-care is knowing yourself.

This means knowing your body’s limitations, and being in tune with your feelings, emotions and thoughts. So it’s important, then, to know who you are and what you want to do in life, in order to truly say that you know yourself. 

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What is your purpose?

Have you ever thought about this question?

Your purpose doesn’t have to remain the same throughout your life. What you found a purpose in at age 19 would likely be different at age 49.

In your current situation, think about the different roles that you have – as a working professional, a spouse, a partner, a parent, etc.

Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose through any of these roles?

All you have to do is ensure that what you’re chasing is meaningful to you; this will bring focus and motivation as you strive to achieve your goals.

If you have your purpose defined, then that’s awesome! You know what drives you and why.

But, if you don’t feel like you have a purpose nailed down, it’s good to start by asking why.

For example, why are you working in your particular job or industry? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. In which case, you may find yourself not having a direction for where you’re headed in life.

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If you’d like to learn more about finding your purpose, then I recommend you check out this article:

How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

Seek Out Continuous Education

Now, this may seem less common when you think of self-care, but lifelong learning is incredibly useful and an important component of taking care of yourself.

It’s Super Practical

Lifelong learning is extremely practical these days and does not require as much effort as it may have in the past. Long gone are the days when you could only find information on something by visiting a library. In this day of the internet, anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.

You don’t need to physically go to a learning institution to learn. You can watch Youtube videos to learn new skills, take online courses to earn a degree, and scroll through an endless amount of articles, books and journals from reputable news and informative sites.

When you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and take up new things, your mental health also improves. Research shows that an active and engaged mind is responsible for diminishing age-related memory loss and improves overall cognitive abilities.

Your Confidence Will Skyrocket

You’ll also have improved self worth as it teaches you to step outside of your comfort zone, which will undoubtedly improve your confidence.

You’ll also connect better with others by expanding your knowledge base. Learning exposes you to a multitude of new ideas and perspectives that you may have otherwise never considered. This also increases your adaptability. Whether it’s at work or just wanting to adapt to society, your peers, and loved ones, life long learning prepares you to take on new challenges.

You’ll Be More Desired in the Job Market

Another obvious reason for continuous education, is that your employability will also increase.

With the ever changing economy, and huge influences from technology, social media, science etc., job descriptions today are moving targets. Assignments and roles change so quickly in response to changing business demands, it becomes a Herculean task to keep a job description database current.

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In years past, stability was a characteristic of the world of work. Procedures, information, jobs, and organizations were established and provided continuity. Education was completed in the first 14 to 22 years of one’s life, followed by a long career occasionally punctuated by short-term job training.

Today, however, jobs, companies, and technology are disappearing and being created simultaneously. To remain current and maintain a competitive advantage in the human capital marketplace, an individual is challenged to continually learn.

People return to school at every age to enrich their skills and knowledge for their current positions. Some even prepare themselves for new jobs or career changes, moving them forward into new opportunities and technology.

We can be assured that we will be challenged to continue to learn new tasks and information throughout our lives. Successful careers belong to flexible, curious learners who are prepared for opportunities because they know themselves and where they make their best contribution. As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management stated,

“Knowledge is choice.”

Lifelong learning also increases social awareness and perspective. To genuinely understand and empathize with others, increase social awareness, and foster strong interpersonal relationships, it’s important to seek out new perspectives. Enhancing the skills that positively impact emotional intelligence can bring even greater happiness and success, both personally and at work; and, this is all part of self-care.

Improve Your Habits (Both at Work and at Home)

Now, the last piece of advice I want to introduce to your self-care regimen, is to improve your habits.

Habits define who you are, and are built up over time. You are what you eat is a great example of this. If you make it a habit to eat foods that nourish your body, rather than make your body feel bad, then you will be much healthier overall.

Good Habits Allow You to Reach Your Goals

Since habits dictate your days and nights, such as waking up every morning to get to work before a certain time, or brushing your teeth before bedtime every night, they play a major role in whether we do or do not reach our goals.

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When you form habits that allow you to progress towards your goals, you’re automatically living a purposeful day, everyday.

Habits Make Your Time a Priority

How do you spend your free time? Do you opt to lounge on the couch watching Netflix passively, or do you engage in activities that support your purpose in life?

It’s natural to waste a lot of time during the day, but fostering good habits will make you set a pattern for how you spend your time and give you the choice of what you choose to spend your time on. By improving your habits, you’ll find that you can be a LOT more productive. When you create good habits, you become more efficient with your time and a lot less is wasted.

This in essence creates an overall positive influence on your life, allowing you to treat your mind and body well, which is why improving your habits are so important to self-care.

Your Well Being Comes First

We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times.

If you’ve ever watched the safety video onboard a plane, you’ll know that they always ask for a parent or adult to put on the safety mask first, before tending to the child. This may sound selfish, but the fact is that if you truly want to ensure the child’s safety, then your safety needs to come first so that you can protect and care for the child without complications from your end.

The same goes for self-care. We need to ensure that our well being is priority, so that we can be the best for the people around us.

Listening to yourself, practicing lifelong learning and improving your habits are steps that you can take to ensure you’re constantly in the best state of mind, alongside the indulgence and rest that you reward yourself with.

Featured photo credit: Photo by Raychan on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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