12 career tips of Christmas – day six

Build your network

At this time of year, everyone in adland is busy crystal-ball gazing to predict what the year ahead will look like. It’s easy to forget that the year end should also signal a time to refocus and reflect on past achievements as well as plan ahead. With that in mind, NABS is running its own 12 Days of Christmas series, on career tips. On each working day, right the way up to Christmas eve, the NABS career team will be sharing their expertise on everything from handling pressure to building networks, from listing achievements, to adding value.

Building a network is important in developing your career; it can be a vital resource in both finding a new job and moving up the ladder. But it’s not simply about currying favour with the company hierarchy, it’s about building relationships with your team, your clients, peers and management.

From the get-go you should really aim to become involved in the business community and establish contacts. Striking up solid friendships and relations with people in and out of your own sector can be useful to you in the future. The age old saying ‘It’s not what you know but who you know’ has some truth in it; having a varied network can be beneficial in the long run, allowing you to pool your resources and collaborate. Making others aware of your own expertise and experience can help to boost your own business profile and extend your influence across your clients’ business networks, improving your prospects and making a name for yourself.

Bear in mind then, that these relationships should not be taken for granted and never abuse your relationships. For a successful network to survive it should always represent a mutually beneficial arrangement for everyone involved.

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