They say success depends not on what you know but who you know. Skills and experience are important but knowing the right set of people can definitely help you advance and thrive in your career. GQ recommends surrounding yourself with these key people:
Connect with people who can guide you throughout your career. They can offer professional advice, teach you new skills, and coach you on refining your technique. They’ll ask questions, point out blind spots, and help you see what’s holding you back. Most important, they can introduce you to people who can help you move forward.
Find a few people who believe in you. They can tout your skills, recommend you for jobs and special projects, and sell you to potential employers and clients. Look for people comfortable promoting you and reciprocate by spreading the word about them whenever you can.
You need a wide network of people to call on throughout your life for answers, advice, and support. Building this kind of network takes time, so make a habit of getting to know other people with extensive connections. They’ll hook you up with more people who can help you, broadening your reach.
Get close to subject matter experts in your field—people who can provide specialized information and help you solve complex problems. You can’t learn and retain everything about your industry, but if you have access to a wide collection of knowledgeable people, you’ll be able to get the information you need.
Not every person in your life has to be connected to your industry. Don’t forget to cultivate friends who value you for who you are. This will boost your morale and mental health through setbacks and enhance your enjoyment of the eventual successes you achieve.
Have you surrounded yourself with these key people? It may be the difference between the achievement or failure of your goals.