Are Rolodexes a thing of the past? Not really! We think that your Rolodex is a critical component of your career toolkit. Here is a post we have put together on why we think having a Rolodex can be indispensable to your career. Your contacts are the probably the most important thing you take with you when you change jobs and move on in your career. Read on and see how you can rock your Rolodex for success in your career!
1. A Mentor – Many would argue that one does not really need a mentor, and can be a mentor for oneself. However, having a professional mentor on your career Rolodex can prove to be a blessing. A professional mentor you trust will see you through the ups and downs of your career, and his/her professional experience will be extremely valuable for some situations you may encounter. Be it improving your CV, an honest assessment of your work or genuine career advice. A quality mentoring relationship is forged through communication, team work and trust, and once you have managed to forge this relationship, make sure you keep the boat afloat by staying in touch and not just reaching out in times of crisis.
2. A Recruiter – Well, obviously your first job will not and should not be your last one. In which case, it makes sense to build a meaningful relationship with a recruiter who knows his/her job. She wants you to succeed because your success would eventually ensure her’s. And she has a few expectations from you, the potential hire, so that the common goal of a win-win job hunt for both can be reached. Having an updated resume, being responsive, honest and proactive will help the recruiter help you when you are actively looking for a job. Even when not actively job hunting, make sure you are in touch with your recruiter, so that you get a head start with opportunities, when you may need it most!
3. An Ex-Employer – This is the tricky bit. Now this is a person who you may need to keep in your good books, which is why, we have emphasized how important it is to quit gracefully, wherever possible. Remember that if your ex-employer is a powerful person and good at what he does, he is someone whose reference would matter, be it for a niche job or higher studies. In which case, it makes sense to part on amicable terms and stay in touch!
4. A Critic – “If you have no critics you’ll likely have no success” – Malcolm X. This is not entirely false. At times, having a critic proves essential for the much-needed push. We all tend to become complacent at some point in time in our careers and need more than a gentle nudge to shake off the complacency. Well, you don’t need to actively look for a critic, the kind of work you do will automatically attract critics. In fact, the better you work, the more critics you will have. Which means there are people out there who are evaluating your work through a lens you would lack. Never let the criticism “get to you”, however, it is always healthy to pay heed to what they say and carry out a self assessment.
5. A Friend – Where criticism fails, encouragement works. Having a friend, or a trusted colleague who you can confide in, in times of professional crises is invaluable. A true friend will motivate you, help you pull up your socks and tell you not all is lost, even if you goof up. Find and keep that one friend who you can turn to, during times of professional existentialism and who will understand you.
Networking is the best way to grow and nurturing your relationships with these five people will lead you to very strong leads. It is always worthwhile to remember that any relationship is cultivated over a period of time, and is never only ‘taking from’ but also ‘giving to’. You need to give to the relationship as much as you would expect from it, otherwise it could be called a transaction and not a relationship. Make sure it is a consistent bond that you establish, one in which you would be in a position to reach out for help when you need to, and not be inhibited because you haven’t kept in touch with them for the longest time!