This weekend marks the hypothetical beginning of spring. I know the calendar says it is has arrived but I can still see my breath in the mornings so it’s not here yet.
Spring is when we think about cleaning, decluttering and generally freshening things up. This should include not just your living room, fridge or stinky, salt stained car but also your network.
Yes, I said network.
I am not saying you should unfriend people in droves however, once in a while, you need to take a look at your network to see if it reflects your needs and brings you joy. Your network is a bit like insurance. You really only learn about the consequences of choosing the cheap plan when you get into an accident and realize what is not covered.
You don’t want to figure out that your network is made up of mostly peers from the same company or industry when there is a downturn in that business. You will all be moping at the same time. Not helpful.
Here is what really drove this home for me: Justin Bieber. Seriously. We re-watched his roast on Comedy Central this week. It was hilarious (on many levels) but what struck me was the diversity of the people willing to go on tv to roast the kid.
You might expect comics like Kevin Hart and musicians like Ludacris. They are his natural, industry network. They probably go to the same parties and award shows and have a lot in common.
Guess who else was on the stage? Shaquille O’Neil, Snoop Dog and, wait for it, Martha Stewart.
No matter that they were only there to make fun of him. That’s not the point. The point is that they were willing to expose themselves by telling jokes about him to a live audience.
That is a powerful network. With that kind of diversity, Justin should be able to steer clear of all kinds of career obstacles. He should be able to use them to evaluate opportunities and get doors opened for new ideas.
So, who would do your roast? Can you pull together people from difference industries and backgrounds? Do they know enough about you to tell some stories?
Forget cleaning the fridge. Spruce up your network instead.