As a logged in user, you can find 'My warm network' on your portal dashboard and store the names and details of people in your network and add to them over time. But physically mapping out your warm network can help you to visualise and make associations. You can do this on a large piece of paper or using a digital drawing tool. Position yourself at the centre and draw lines connecting you to others. Ask yourself:
- Who do you know?
- What do they do?
- Which of their careers most interest you?
Critically assess who to include in your map. Keep in mind that those closest to you can act as sources of support as well as potential leads for career information. Highlight those you feel closer to and those you are more reluctant to engage with.
Your map can be used to identify people to reach out to for further insight. But when you're just starting to explore, use the map to stimulate further research.
If you find someone's career particularly interesting, look further into their role and organisation. You can expand your research in that direction.
As they are your personal contacts, you may wish to have some informal chats at this early stage. When you do speak to people, let them know your current thinking with regards to careers.
Perhaps they know someone with that career. You could ask them to connect you with that person. Keep in mind that you may also have some suitable contacts for them. Be prepared to swap names and provide introductions.
For this strategy, and the others, it's a good idea to record your findings from your research and conversations so that you have something to return to. You could use this template or make your own log or spreadsheet.