3 Ways To Naturally Leverage Past Connections For Present-Day Success

from Forbes

To succeed in today’s world, you need to use every tool at your disposal. While it’s easy to think this just means whatever you currently have on hand, we all have past connections that can be tapped into and transformed into real value. 

Leveraging your past for current and future gain is a powerful tool, and one that often leads to positive change for everyone involved. Quite often, it’s simply a matter of knowing the best ways to put these connections to work.

More here.

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  1. I was always taught to know that success does not come easily. I truly believe that the people you associate yourself with are vital. Surround yourself with people that work hard and have goals in their life. Set yourself up to succeed in the future. The first way to naturally leverage past connections for present day success is to make the initial effort to reconnect. There are so many ways in today’s world to stay connected to people especially with email and social media. Instead of waiting for someone to reach out to you, be the first to reach out. It will not hurt, It would only benefit yourself and really show that you care. The second way is to work to seriously expand your own network. When I hear that I think to expand your social media, get your name out there and open up to meeting new people. Do not just limit yourself to certain things. Past connections can open the door to network expansion. The third way is to link past projects to current skills. Use what you have learned in the past to set yourself up for success in the future. Make adjustments and most importantly make yourself better than what you were. Make the most of what you have accomplished and who you have met. Never close a door on someone. You never know where later in life that person or people could help you. Especially when you get to college, that is where you could really start making connections. Talking to people with the same major’s and staying in touch with them could go a long way. Your professors are there to help you and set you up for a successful future. The one piece of advice that I would give is to not become to dependent on someone. Reach out and do what you have to do but always remember it is on you. You are in charge of your future and it all matters how you set yourself up to succeed. Use your past as a leverage. Do not close any doors and be the first one to reach out. Do not wait for others to reach out first. Do these steps every day and you will begin to see your future getting brighter day by day.

  2. Relationships are everything in this world. At every stage of our lives, we have connected with different people who have impacted our lives. We usually lose touch with many of these people who were so significant to us as we grow older and as time flies by. Everyone’s life changes and we meet many more people who mark our path. It is certainly unusual to look to our past when thinking about the future. However, as mentioned in the article, reconnecting with people from the past can be very beneficial for future success.
    It might seem like a tough task to do, as everyone has their own life. Simply starting to talk to someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time might seem odd. However, the three simple and natural ways presented in the article are likely to lead you on the right track. First, making the initial effort to reconnect. Find the way and the time to start talking to those people that had an incredible impact on your former life and immerse yourself in their new current lives. Second, work to seriously expand your network. Having past connections introduce or connect you to a new prospect is the perfect way to increase our network with people we can trust. Third, link past projects to current skills. Make the most of your past relationships to expand your visibility.
    As soon as you begin thinking about how these strategies can be developed, two places pop into your head: school and university. These are places where one has spent a significant part of one’s life. In these places, one has acquired tastes, thoughts, and ideas that have shaped the person you are today. It was thanks to the connections and relationships built over those years that all this formation was possible. This helps to show us the true importance of these stages in our lives. Yes, one must learn about history, science, math, and languages. However, what is significant are the relationships and friendships that one has created during this stage. When you start talking to someone, you don’t think about the benefit that this relationship can bring you in the future. This is a natural thing that just happens, but it is one of the most critical aspects of success. For this reason, it is imperative to cultivate many friendships and relationships that do you good. Every relationship is a door full of opportunities that can bring you closer to success.

  3. I find that success comes to people who work the hardest most of the time and the people that have the best connections. I was taught that you should always be nice to people no matter what because you never know what that person is or what they can turn out to be. For instance, say you were friends with someone in high school and you end up trying to get a job in a company, but your friend is already with that company, you can use them as a recommendation and they can say positive things about you to the boss. I also believe that in order to get the job that you want you to have to put yourself out there and make yourself noticeable as a part of expanding your own network. Make sure that when you show up to a meeting you show out, include your past works, projects, or anything that relates to the job to help better yourself. Meeting new people in my opinion is one of the best ways to expand your network. Also, you can use your past connections to help you out in some situations. Do not go for the minimum, do the maximum that you can to get yourself noticed. Don’t wait for someone to come to you for a job, go out there and be the first one to go out. This will be good for companies and businesses because they will see that you have an interest in working for them. In addition, this leaves a good impression on whatever job that you want. In conclusion, I believe if you are sociable, outgoing, and determined you have advantages over other people that are going for the same job as you, and if you have close relationships with certain people it can be very helpful.

  4. “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” This quote stated by Daniel Pena Sr. simply says it all while connecting to the related article, “3 Ways To Naturally Leverage Past Connections For Present-Day Success.” While I’m a strong believer and activist for this quote, I evidently know from past experiences that whoever one surrounds themselves with, they will become like. From the time we were born, we have learned everything we’d come to know from our parents. Why is this? This is simply because as young children, we looked up to our parents and were constantly around them, learning and reacting to their acts. However, as we grow older, we generally become more independent by our own doing. Because of this, we look to expand our network of friends and others who we can relate to. This is natural for us to do as our minds mature. Just as our parents do, our friends and other people we experience on the day-to-day basis, have a large impact on how we are each shaped as people.
    As I’ve stated in my writing before, I tend to surround myself with people that are hardworking and successful, as well as people my age that carry the same progressive mindset that I do. By doing this, you are constantly reminded to better yourself, for you and your friends will unknowingly feed off of each other’s energy. If these friends are kept close and seen consistently throughout your life, you will develop new ideas together, as well as strengthen the mindset which has already been planted in your head. However, for the people that are already successful, lessons and priceless direction can be given. This stems from the fact that the successful person that you are talking to has been down their path of determined and like-minded success. Because of this, the already successful person can explain the good and bad things they’ve done throughout their lives that have ultimately lead them to where they are now. The wins they’ve experienced can show what the right way to handle oneself is. However, more can be taken away from the losses they’ve experienced. What exactly not to do in life that will lead to setbacks. For these reasons, networking and relationships with the right people can in general be the utmost important thing within someone’s life. This covers the first two topics discussed within the article.
    The last point in the article states, “link past projects to current skills.” With this point, the topic of trial and error will emerge. This is very important within our lives because we, as humans, learn from doing. Without doing we would never have experienced what it is like to physically do the act, as well as the challenges found throughout. If something is ultimately done wrong, we will remember the failure and its contents which lead to the unfortunate result. Nothing in life will go perfectly. That is why it is important to pick out these failures and always work to better oneself. However, this does not mean one should dwell so much on the idea of perfectionism, but rather incorporate their past failures with the new challenge at hand. This would eventually result in a smoother functioning lifestyle whether the skill is required at school, work, or throughout one’s social life. The scenario does not change the importance of learning from one’s past experiences.

  5. This article provides an insight into the world of networking, one which has become very important in the technologically advanced society we live in today. While everyone goes through different relationships throughout their education and can make significant connections, other’s struggle, many education systems do not explain the necessity for networking and expanding your connections both for career opportunities and lifestyle advancements.
    As Serenity gibbons states within this article “we all have past connections that can be tapped into and transformed into real value”, from reading this it has brought to light the significance that older connections may have for our future lives, it illustrates the importance of having significant connections and using them to further both parties. Furthermore, the article highlights the importance of work to seriously expand your network, it is not done by reading someone’s profile, deciding they would be an asset and sending out an invitation. In order to establish a positive connection of which can stand for your personal character and reliability you may first be introduced by a first connection of both parties then enabling a stronger relationship with more connections and providing a better nourished personal connection.
    Continuing throughout this article Serenity Gibbons illustrates the need for using your past accomplishments and successes, and relating them to your skill set. This is important for establishing new connections and having a strong starting basis for networking. An important factor which also must be recognised is the reviews of either yourself on a character basis, or a business basis. This may further develop any past connections and bring them to light and further establish new connections via third parties. To quote the article, “using your past as a springboard for present-day success should be standard practice for any solopreneurs, freelancers or aspiring entrepreneurs out there” the significance of networking has become a key factor in life and will continue to do so throughout generations hence the need to establish your own strong profile and build from this, leading to a successful future.

  6. There is no doubt that networking is the biggest key to success. There is nobody in this world that has reached a high level of career success without the help of others. Networking is a way for people to help each other out in their endeavors. If there is a person who applies for a position at a company, and they know somebody already employed at the company, that person will have a better chance than the competition. Networking for head executives and business owners is an imperative part of their job as well. Without connections, these such people would firstly, have difficulties even getting into that position, and secondly, they would find it difficult to be successful in their position. Business revolves around networking there is no other way to go about it. I too am actively networking for future career success, but I believe the concept of networking is at times wrong and unethical.
    Many people who network, do so for the sole purpose of benefiting themself. The people reaching out to others don’t care about the other people’s well-being, instead, all they care about is the benefits that the other person can provide for them. I see this as a fake form of friendship. Networking has become a toxic parasite for authentic and genuine relationships between people. It has gotten so essential that there are books and courses that teach how to network efficiently, or better put to only network with people that are worth your time. This article shows 3 ways one can “naturally” leverage their past connections for their present-day success. The title itself sounds as if the author is trying to sugarcoat the fact that present success is only viable if one uses past connections for their own selfish purposes. Seeking help and reciprocating out of genuine mutual respect is one thing, but most of the time people get used when networking. Unfortunately, that is the world we live in and there is no changing it.

  7. Having connections to other successful people who can help you is key because it is very hard to be successful without any help at all. I found this article to be very interesting because his provided 3 natural ways to get connections in order to be successful. The first example they made was to make effort to reconnect. I agree with this because in order to meet new people, you have to make effort to start a conversation and you will meet a lot of interesting people on the way. The 2nd example that they provide is to work to expand networking. A way you can do this is being friendly with everyone and invite people over for gatherings. the last example that they provide is Link past projects to certain skills. You can do this by promoting past accomplishments to prove to everyone you are intelligent. Telling some previous problems may help relate with other people. Overall, this article provided many reasons to strongly start to build positive relationships with other people in hopes of meeting very interesting people that may have similar interest as you. You never know when you may need help from someone so having connection will help you in the long run. You will find that completing the steps will make life easier and happier.

  8. Relationships and networking are key roles in your path to success. Surrounding yourself with accomplished and hardworking people reveals that you also want to be prosperous. You have to always take the first step in meeting new people and utilizing your past connections for value. Relationships from college and school are unique in that we spend our friendships discovering new interests and overcoming our struggles together. We know each other’s strengths and where we are still developing. This provides a sense of complete trust that will be useful to expand into a professional relationship.

    In addition, expanding social networks using prior connections is helpful. You can also expand your network by keeping a consistent schedule to meet new people related to your career and join professional societies. These organizations will help you meet people at all different professional levels and lead to the exchange of new creative ideas. Furthermore, always ensure that all your achievements are recorded. This way you will always be able to show others your skills and what you are capable of.

    The principle of human connections is a huge part of the path to success. Since we are in the digital age, networking has become very convenient. Building a network means a relationship that is built on authenticity and kindness. Provide value to the relationship and be assertive in your approaches. Networking makes you noticeable to clients, particularly if you stand out with the expertise and service that you offer. This leads to new opportunities and gives you the chance to improve your creative intellect. Developing your career is a long term process that is largely dependent on your networking abilities and self-confidence to always learn more.

  9. In life we all develop a network of people we interact with every day. We make friends where we live, where we go to school, where we work, and in countless other circumstances. We have significant others who can introduce us to their family and friends. We even have connections with other people at a more basic level. We might be friendly with countless other people throughout the day, whom we might not view as friends. These people are still important and part of our larger network.

    So, how do we reconnect with an important member of our spiderweb of connections?

    First of all, there are countless benefits to reconnecting with old friends. Besides re-living the good old days when you were friends and experiencing the nostalgia of these memories, its good to know how your contemporaries are doing. By learning about what industries they are involved in, you can discover if their career path is something which interests you. Also, maybe this old connection, can help you land a job in their field. They may be able to give you advise about where to work, how to get hired, and they may be able to introduce you to important people in that industry. They could hire you, or get you hired at their firm or one of their other friend’s firms.

    If you have recently lost a job, an old friend could be in the same boat, and the two of you could work together and start your own firm. You both could hire other connections which you have which have recently lost their jobs. Necessity is the mother of invention. You never know how successful your firm could become. Your small company could do very well, and you and your business partner could become very successful. If your small firm does not do very well, then you might be in need of help from other old connections.

    When you reach out to your old connections, you first want to ask them how they and their family are doing, and if they want to catch up. If they want to begin a dialogue again they will respond to your initial request to speak with them. If they don’t want to speak with you, then they won’t respond to your initial request. If this happens then the connection would not be very valuable as they no longer are interested in your friendship.

    When the connection responds to you and catches you up on some of the big life events which they have recently experienced, you should tell them about what you have experienced recently. You can discuss major life events, sports, movies, shows, and talk about old memories. If you just let the conversation develop naturally, then you will reconnect easily with this person. If the conversation is less natural and more forced, then it might be more difficult to speak with this person moving forward as both you may have changed too much and have nothing in common anymore. Regardless, you are most likely going to have a positive experience reaching out to an old connection as those you truly were close to and believe are trustworthy are few in number. So, go ahead and start reconnecting with some old friends and begin to reap the benefits of having a large spiderweb of connections.

  10. Growing up I have always been told that the people who you surround yourself with are a reflection of who you are a person. I live by this saying because the more you surround yourself with a certain group of people the more habits you pick up from them without even realizing it. This is exactly why people should network so that he/she can meet people of different backgrounds which not only make connections however, it also opens doors that may not have been available to them before. In this generation there is no excuse as to why no one in the world can not network. Since the advancement of technology throughout the years, communicating with individuals is as easy as ever especially with social media. From a young age life-time connections are immediately made without realization. “We go to school for an education, but the connections from that era are immensely valuable as well. Former classmates can be reconnected with years later for professional purposes, and these contacts possess a special sort of trust that an entirely new one just doesn’t have. Whether you met in high school or university, they can vouch for your ability and character in a way that can cement your professional status in a positive and human light.” This gives meaning to the first way of naturally leveraging past connection for present-day success by telling one how important it is to make the initial effort to reconnect. The second way is to expand your network, it is extremely important to be consistent with making connections because it’ll benefit one in the long run. This ties along with the third way which is to link past projects to current skills. Being able to acknowledge past skills shows how it has brought you to where you are today. It also allows space for new skills to be brought about as well as for older skills to be worked harder on if they have been forgotten. The possibilities are endless when it comes to networking so never stop expanding your horizons.

  11. I have always been aware of who I associate myself with ever since middle school. Every new school year, I would try to branch out to everyone to at least get my foot in the door with everyone. By the time the year’s end, I would usually have a small, tighter group of friends that I always spent time together with but was still friendly with everyone. I was thinking about this from when the article said “One of the most impactful periods of life is school, where we learn from peers and teachers alike and form deep connections before growing in our unique ways. The different paths we all take after education are an incredible opportunity, as you can reconnect with those who have mastered skills outside your wheelhouse.”

    I have used some of my connections to be one of the student managers for the Seton Hall baseball team. I come from a family of sports, with two of my cousins playing professional sports. One of my cousins played at Rutgers University and played for the Cleveland Guardians minor leagues. He then became the pitching coach for Rutgers and now Montclair State. I told him that I was the student manager of my high school, Saint Peter’s Prep, and wanted to be the same in college. He then told me that he knew the pitching coach here at Seton Hall and that he would put a word in for me. I then emailed the head coach directly showing my interest. The coach got back to me a couple of days later saying that he would like me to join the team as a manager. That was back in August and now in February, I am part of the team trying to win the Big East.

    What I learned from that was to not be afraid to reach out. You will never know what someone will say unless you ask them. It did help that my cousins had connections, but I still had to reach out to him to get the help. Seton Hall has told us sports management majors that you have to network and know people to get to where you want to go, and I learned that first hand.

  12. I’ve always felt the societal pressure that it was weird or unacceptable to reach out to past connections, but the first section of this article provided vindication for me. I have many previous bosses and acquaintances from my jobs at Home Depot, gravedigging, and many entrepreneurial landscaping jobs, and all would vouch for my good character and work ethic; but I would always be worried I’d be bothering them if I asked for them to write me a letter of recommendation or inquired for work, or even to just talk. Now that I look back though, who doesn’t want to reunite with an old friend; relationships are always salvageable, and it’s never too late to reach out.
    I look forward to growing my network as I progress through college. I think it’s inspirational what a network Seton hall connects us to; all these alumni are willing to give us a hand purely because they went to the same school as us. One tangent I’d like to go on though, is it ok to network with people for a purely instrumental purpose? I honestly don’t think so, even if it would mean getting ahead in life. I’m not one to forsake my morals and neglect people’s autonomy like that. If we network for mutual gain, like internships (I work for you, you teach me), then I’m in support of a purely businesslike network.
    I like the advice of linking past projects to current skills, especially on LinkedIn. I have a multitude of projects that demonstrate my problem solving capabilities (like figuring out by myself how ad where to dig a cremation grave in a plot on a graveyard, there’s a lot of math and double checking), but no basis to back up my claims. Maybe I will reach out to my old employers and get them to write a review soon.

  13. The importance of networking is always one that provides for unique career opportunities, Personally because I am a finance major have been told that the most important aspect in the Business world is the importance of connections. In todays world knowing who to rely on may save someone’s professional career for many different reasons. The biggest reason why so many of us fail or become undervalued is because we do not find the right people to align with during our early years. Letters of recommendations and references are nowadays essential when submitting your application to jobs. Job websites such as LinkedIn provide an easier and more versatile way to reach out to individuals aligned with the work that you are seeking. On my LinkedIn account I have connected with many professionals in my field who provide insights for how to become successful in their line of work. It is also important to network with your close relatives and friends. People who are of closeness to yourself will often give you opportunities simply based off the fact that they know how your work ethics and behavior is. The article above emphasizes the point to also reconnect your past projects to the current skills that you have currently. when expanding your network I find that putting all of your accolades and projects give your future employers the ability to see what you are often capable of. Personally, during High school I competed in the FBLA state competitions and because of that it has made my experiences with my employers more enjoyable as they knew the jobs that I am capable to. What I most importantly learned from this article was not to be hesitant to reach out to people I know. As a result I know that due to my networking I will have good unique career opportunities.

  14. I really enjoyed this article because it contained a ton of realistic and applicable skills that I can see myself using in the near future. As I prepare to enter the professional world, one thing that I have always heard was that connections are everything. They help us get jobs, and help us to be successful in those positions. I always imagined that when looking to make professional connections, that a college student in my shoes would be starting from scratch. This article made me realize that not to be the case, and that a major part of what I need to do involves leveraging relationships that I have already formed. Friends from high school and college aren’t just people you met at school, they are people who are in a similar boat as you and will soon be in the same professional setting. Some will be working in similar career fields which means that our friendship can evolve from simply a friendship to a mutually beneficial business relationship. One thing that I need to work on is reconnecting with a lot of old connections that I have. This article made me realize the importance of school in that aspect. It’s a place where you can be around others with similar goals and career paths, so capitalizing on relationships at this age while it’s easier can lead to more career success down the road. The article also mentioned building new connections, which is where my focus on networking previously was, but what good is a new relationship if at the same time you lost an old one. The article not only talked about this aspect of leveraging your past, but also mentioned the importance of connecting past projects to current skills. This way you are not only leveraging relationships with others, but also your past self will be helping your future self.

  15. While it can be tempting to not look back upon the past and instead focus on the future, our past actions are the reason that we are where we are today, and how we have learned and grown from those experiences influence where we will go in the future. Past experiences and lessons are how we have acquired the skills which we have today, so without those past experiences we have nothing to show what we are actually good at. Anyone can walk into a job interview and claim to be a strong leader who can coordinate a team, but unless they are able to point to a time in the past where they have actually led and coordinated a team, then all they have given is words that any person would be able to string together and sound just as if not more credible. This article shares many elements with another article featured on this blog called “Network as Net Worth: Increasing Access to Social Capital for Young People”. In that article, they discuss the utility of programs which seek to connect teens and young adults with mentors who can help them build a network and reach their potential in a professional setting. These two articles work very well with one another because these programs can often help people realize the importance of leveraging your past experiences to build a social or professional network by being able to recognize and highlight your skills for future interactions. If you are able to use past experiences to both maintain strong relationships as well as highlight your skills, then that will be greatly useful in looking to the future to determine what actions should be taken in the present.

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