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The 10 people you need for your careerApril 29, 2012 @ 4:31 pm (Updated: 4:56 am - 4/30/12 )
Think about the people in your life. You may have dozens of friends and hundreds of connections through social media, but do you have these 10 types of people to help you grow professionally and personally?
I'm approaching 20,000 Twitter followers with gratitude. The Twitter and Facebook friends I've gotten to know in real life support me each day with conversation, laughter and ideas. In some way, they fall into the categories below of the 10 people you need in your life.
1. The Mentor
At key points in your career, you need people to help figure out the next move or decision. They generously share what they know. Their advice comes from years of experience; listen to them. Mentors benefit from the relationship too. When they share the things they've learned the hard way, it makes the stings from their past a little easier to get over because at least there was some value in the experience.
2. The Role Model
Unlike the mentor, these people are generally out of your reach. They're experts or celebrities in the industry. They're keynote speakers at events or the rock stars of your field. Guess what, they're also human. They are more approachable than you think. Study their success and reach out to them.
3. The Apprentice
It's important to help students or young who are just beginning their careers. We all need to have concern for the next generation of professionals in the industry. While they gain knowledge of how to advance in a career field, you gain a fresh perspective and an energy boost.
4. The Cheerleader
We all need someone who's in our corner, cheering us on, no matter what. They don't leave you when times are tough. Even when they don't know what to say, or how to help, their encouragement is enough to get you through a bad day.
5. The Soldier
Sometimes encouragement isn't enough. Every once in awhile you need someone who will stand up for you, even though you didn't ask them to. Someone who will defend you, even though you tell them not to. They just know what to do to show that they're behind you all the way.
6. The Peer
It's easy to find people in this category. They're close to your age and are often in the same career with similar experiences. They understand your frustrations. You can gripe with them and laugh with them. Because they're a peer, their suggestions aren't threatening.
7. The Oddball
Everyone needs someone who's just a bit different. Someone who's quirky, eclectic, artsy. They don't see the world the same way you do and that's a great thing. Their understanding of politics, news and issues is so different. They force you to re-think what you thought you knew.
8. The Oblivious
People in this category are often relatives. They don't know what you do for a living, though you've likely told them several times, and they don't particularly care. It's refreshing to be around these people who remind you there is life outside of your career or occupation.
9. The Hater
It's uncomfortable to be around someone who challenges you and clearly dislikes you. You need these people in your life. Haters often have some truth to what they say. Find the kernel of truth, and dismiss the rest. They're a reality check. They also make you appreciate all the others you have in your life.
10. The Believer
These are the people who make what seem like outlandish suggestions for your career and life. They push you to try new things. You give them evidence and a million reasons why they're wrong, and they continue to believe in the abilities you haven't discovered yet.
By LINDA THOMAS
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