Step #1: Determine Your Values and Value Priorities
The first step of Networlding is to choose your top four values and then prioritize them? For example, our values are: 1) making a difference, 2) integrity, 3) collaboration, 4) innovation. What are you top values? What drives you each day?
Take about a week or two to figure out your value priorities. Then, a good tip would be to go on LinkedIn and search on the Advanced People Search Page (hint: that link to the far right at the top of your HOME page on LinkedIn). Here, you can search keyword terms such as “integrity” and “innovation.” You will find like-valued people this way–people who you can partner with to build your respective networks and realize better opportunities faster.
Step #2: Figure Out Who You Already Know Who Could be a Primary Circle Partner
Pick the current people you know–up to five, whom you think would have similar or complementary values. Then, set up times to meet these people. If they are unavailable for the longer term, put them into what we call your “Secondary Circle” where you can connect with them, perhaps, every three months.
Carol had an informal primary circle before she became involved with Networlding. However, when she decided to leave her job to attend graduate school she felt little support from her colleagues or her boss. Additionally, many of those she had in her professional network prior to her transition did not share her values nor did they understand why a successful woman would want to return to school later in life.
Carol decided to develop a new primary circle. To do this, she surrounded herself with friends and colleagues who shared her values. Her new primary circle included personal friends who had also experienced recent career changes and newly made friends who were her grad school peers. Carol was able to find the Networlding Seven Levels of Support (see Step #4) in her personal friends, her peers and her professors. Carol is fortunate enough to see many of these friends daily but she keeps in contact at least weekly with everyone in her primary circle.