Are You Building and Caring for Your Relationships?

Julie Bauke

22 July 2014

Hello again! Whether you have been following my blog or just discovering it, I am glad to be here with you as we travel the road to Career Happiness together! Although the journey can be challenging and frustrating at times, the rewards of being in the right job and career for you are well worth the trip.


The fourth of my core career strategies is so important that I am going to dedicate both this month and next month to it.


Relationships are the key to your career and life success. You must build them and care for them relentlessly.


You must embrace and live this philosophy if you ever hope to reach your goals.


We get nowhere alone. Nowhere. Yet, we do not take time to identify, appreciate, and really nurture our relationships. Think of your to-do list. Is there anything on there about building or repairing your professional or personal relationships, or developing new ones? We assume that they will always be there when we need them.


Think about your last few professional accomplishments, then think about the people who were a part of them- proving advice, support, resources, and input. Or maybe they were a part of your journey to get where you are today- and their mentoring and leadership put you in a position to get where you are.


Networking is relationship building. Yet, we often recoil when we hear the word networking, and look for every excuse to avoid it. Small talk! Waste of my time! Fake!


Time for a reframe by sharing my definition:

Networking is the building and maintaining of mutually beneficial relationships that support your goals.


Let’s take a moment to consider that, piece by piece.


Building and maintaining. Yep, right there it says that it is not a one-time event, or a drive-by exercise. You must put effort into the relationships that you want to keep.


Mutually beneficial. Both parties in the relationship must see it as beneficial. One sided relationships do not work in any part of our lives. We all know people who are in it just for themselves with no focus on the “mutual.” We avoid those people, don’t we?


Support Your Goals Ah yes. Without goals, networking is small talk. How can you build mutually beneficial relationships if you aren’t sure what you need, or aren’t asking the right questions to help others reach their goals? When you have goals, personal or professional, and you have identified what you need to reach those goals, AND you openly share your goals and ask for help from those in your network, your talk will not be small. Read that a few times.


The two biggest issues I see are these:

  • We move forward in our careers without goals.
  • When we do have goals, we hesitate to share them.


Is that true for you? Think about if and how that may apply to you, and what you may be missing as a result. Stick with me. I will be tackling both of those issues (and much more) on our road to Career Happiness.


Next month, we will go deeper into networking and relationships. In the meantime, take another look at that to-do list and add one relationship builder to your list. May I suggest coffee with someone you haven’t seen in a while, or a hand written thank you note to someone who has contributed to your success? Believe me, you will be glad you did.


I’d love to hear from you. Has my blog been helpful? What have you tried? Did It work or not? Any aha’s? Topic suggestions?

Julie Bauke

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