Man is essentially a social being. What that means is that we are wired to be with and around people. Relationships build us. Relationships nourish us. Man was created to interact.
Call it what you want – friendship, relationship, network, connection, social circle. Bottom line is, we need all of those social circles to survive. It gets all the more necessary for immigrants who had to leave, by choice or lack of it, the known for the unknown. We all left our social circles of family and friends to venture out to an unfamiliar environment.
Be intentional about building relationships. See it as digging a well ahead of when you’ll need to draw water from the well.
Out here, even though experiences differ from one person to the other, we only soon realize that to move up the career ladder in Canada as immigrants, we essentially have to depend on other people. Advancement doesn’t happen in isolation from other people. Someone has to inform you about this and that available opportunity. Someone else will be the recruiter, the hiring manager, the employer, the missing link somewhere. And you don’t want to take them for granted.
Be intentional about building relationships. See it as digging a well ahead of when you’ll need to draw water from the well. Don’t however become friendly with someone because of what you hope to gain out of the relationship. It’s the wrong mentality and it inhibits trust. You really want to be at a place where people see you more as a friend and someone that can be trusted, than as a mere colleague or neighbor or as a needy person.
Another important aspect in the whole process is networking.
People in the know opine that the most connected people are often the most successful in today’s world. When you invest in your relationships be it professional or personal it is bound to pay you dividends throughout your career. Networking will help you develop and improve your skill set, allows you to stay on top of the latest trends in your industry, keep close track of the job market, meet prospective mentors, partners, and clients, and gain access to the necessary resources that will help in your career development.
“He who must win friends must first make himself friendly.”
So, be nice always!
It doesn’t also hurt to cultivate friendly skills. It’ll help you to transition quickly from your isolated immigrant journey to forge one with a reliable community of interdependent people.
Take the time to build meaningful relationships with those in your professional circle, so when the time comes to search for work, you can tap into those valuable connections for referrals and job leads.
We will be sharing with you practical skills on how to maximize your relationships in subsequent episodes and articles of The Immigrant Life.
Be on the look-out!
Listen to Episode 71 of The Immigrant Life Podcast.
Written by Yinka Bakare