NOTE: By the time you get to the end of this article I guarantee you’ll be thinking ‘Why didn’t I start doing this sooner?!’.
‘Networking’. Seriously what does that word even mean? We’ve all dragged ourselves to a random alumni event at university, awkwardly stood around trying to read people’s name tags to see if they have any sort of connection to our dream job and tried to make some sort of conversation that leads them to think… “Hey, I should offer this person a job!”
As much as you hate networking – it’s a necessity.
If you’re an ambitious career gal (which I know you are), then aside from working hard and continually up-skilling, networking is one of the most important tools to get you to where you want to go (whether that’s a corner office or an early retirement)!
Now I know I’m probably the 15th person to tell you how important networking is (oh, and there are some more articles on it here)… but I’m about to let you in on something you might not have heard about before…. first comes networking, then comes your BLBB (Boss Little Black Book).
So, what is a BLBB?
You can reach any of your friends at the touch of a button the moment you need them (even if it’s at 2am so you aren’t eating that whole tub of Messina alone…)! But what about your career contacts? Do you have their details readily accessible (and logically organised) ready and waiting for the moment a golden career opportunity comes up that they could potentially help you with?
The people you meet at university, your manager at your first job, the client you worked with on your last deal at work, the woman you spoke to about organising a team lunch, your friend’s dad who now works at the company you’ve set your sights on.. these people could be the key to your next career move. They need to be in your BLBB. Anyone you ever meet that has any relevance to your work needs to be on this list. If in doubt – add them to the BLBB. The more the merrier. Because you never know when you’ll come across an opportunity when one of these contacts will push you right to the front of the line. Trust me, this list will become your #BOSSLIFE bible.
Some of my most successful radio segments, greatest freelance work opportunities and entry into some pretty exclusive events (with awesome free food and wine!) was all thanks to contacts in my BLBB.
So sit down, press play on Calvin Harris’ new album (seriously how good is it?), do a thorough search of all your emails, mobile contacts and those random business cards in your wallet and start typing! Write out their name, company, position, mobile, email, office number… any info that you have on them and lock them into that list. Keep building the list as you move through your career. You never know when it’ll come in handy!
TIP – make sure you save it somewhere where you can easily access it and there’s no chance of losing it. I think Google Sheets works pretty well – but if you have any stellar ideas throw them in the discussion box below!