Transform Your Network: Create a Team for a Successful Data Career
Why network? With networking you can open the door for new opportunities, learn something from others or make new friends. The benefits are numerous, but beyond building a network, what you need is a closer group of people who can significantly impact your career.
You Need a Jedi Council
Don't worry if you're not a Star Wars fan, it's a concept that anyone can appreciate. This group isn't just a network. It's a professional group of people who will help you with your data career. They can offer advice, support you when you're struggling, and provide you with a source of motivation, and education. Think of it as building a team. Everyone has unique and individual talents. Who will make up your "council"?
Building Your Jedi Council
It will have 4 main types of people:
Jedi Master - These people who have already enjoyed the type of success you're after and are willing to share their wisdom. These are people who are a master of their craft, always learning and improving, and is willing to mentor you.
Fellow Jedi - These are peers, people who are at the same level as you are. You can work together with them to accomplish your goals because you understand each other. It's great to have someone else who can help keep us accountable.
The Padawan - These individuals who are a few steps behind you. Even if you just started there's always someone who can learn from you. By teaching someone else not only are you helping them. You're helping yourself because the best way to learn is by teaching others.
The Wildcard - The people who push you out of your comfort zone, and helps you overcome your fears. These people help push you to accomplish things you'd never thought you could do.
This doesn't mean you can only have 4 people in your council. You can have more than one type of person on your council. Variety is key. If you only surround yourself with other Jedi's then it's difficult to improve. Because none of you have the experience to know where to improve. Having a diverse group can be the difference between success and failure or growth and stagnation.
Who's On Your Team?
Deciding who's on your team depends where you are at on your journey, whether you're a senior analyst or just getting started. For example, if you're an associate level analyst with around 2-4 years of experience, your "Jedi Council" will look something like this:
Jedi Master - Senior analysts or data managers, people who are more experienced in the field and potentially have leadership roles. They can help mentor and guide you to becoming a better analyst.
Fellow Jedi -Other associate analysts, they are in the same stage as you in your career. Other analysts who are working on the same stuff and struggling with the same things. They know how you feel. They are people you can bounce ideas off of.
The Padawan - Entry level analyst or interns or people who are trying to get a job as an analyst. You can help them with their technical skills or teach them how to build a project end-to-end. You'll not only help someone else but you get better as well.
The Wildcard - This can be another analyst on your team or someone in a completely different field. The only requirement for this is a person who helps you overcome your fears.
This concept of a "Jedi Council" is adapted from "Level Up Your Life" by Steve Kamb, which focused more on health, wellness, and fitness. Regardless, the idea holds true, whether you're improving your lifestyle or your career, surrounding yourself with the right individuals is crucial.
Start today by identifying potential members of your own Jedi Council and build a dynamic professional network. Remember, your network isn't just about the number of people you know, but the strength and diversity of those relationships. Create your Jedi Council and take the first steps towards improving your data career.