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When it comes to developing your career, the contacts you make and the relationships you form can be almost as important as the qualifications or skills you bring to the table. To develop and grow within the workplace, it is critical that you dedicate time and effort to those relationships. Nobody knows what the future holds for companies or careers, but healthy relationships can be utilized for mutual advantage for years to come. This article will provide you with some ideas on how to build a lasting career support system. 


1. At Networking Events

Industry conferences provide the perfect opportunity to connect with new people. Unfortunately, they have also turned into an opportunity for people to simply exchange business cards, many of which get filed in the bin at the end of the event. Contrary to popular belief, handing someone your business card is not networking. These events are supposed to provide the opportunity to make connections with others so both parties can benefit and help out with business. When you meet people at an event, think about how you are presenting yourself and what you can offer them. Actively listen to what other people are saying and concentrate on them rather than yourself to show you are willing to support them for the same favor in return. People naturally gravitate to those who listen to them; the reality is few people do it properly. Listening is a skill that needs to be developed in order to grow your own career support system, as well as become a part of someone elses.


2. Put Yourself Into The Mindset Of The Host

Another great piece of advice that is stunningly simple, particularly for people lacking in confidence, is to assume the role of the host. As a host, it is natural to talk to people and enquire after their welfare, enabling the conversation to flow naturally. Because you are not necessarily talking business, people will be more likely to open up to you, and a more relaxed, friendly relationship can develop that will continue past the initial introduction. By acting as the host, you are seen as the friendly face that people want to talk to and continue having an advantageous relationship with.


3. Be Beneficial And Supportive, Yourself

A good support system of friends and colleagues within the workplace can help you with problems, and even notice when you are struggling. They will also have challenges and issues at work, so you also have the responsibility to assist them. Although it may be a cliché, a good motto to have is to treat your support system as you would want to be treated yourself. It might even be a good idea to try and involve your work colleagues in some extracurricular activities that aren’t necessarily linked to work in order to further show your mutual support for one another. Here are 25 different ideas you could suggest that can get the ball rolling.

Remember to think long and short-term. People will continue to change the direction of their career over the years. By building a career support system on all levels, friendships will form and outlast the current company you are at. Jobs often come from knowing the right people; you never know who can be of help. Many people are always looking for the next idea or piece of knowledge, but it makes no difference how much knowledge you have if you never share it. Make it a goal to meet some new people this week, and start organizing a fun event for everyone to attend.


Here at Novel Coworking, we are always thinking about the future and looking for original and innovative ways to develop and grow our business. It is our firmly held belief that a friendly, engaging atmosphere makes for a more productive company overall, and so we actively promote and engage in fun activities as a team. Give it a try; you have nothing to lose, and a lot to gain.