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Networking is not optional if you want to be successful in your career. One recent study from LinkedIn found that as many as 70 percent of all workers found their jobs because they had a connection. Unfortunately, networking doesn’t come naturally to most people and it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to building a network that will help you achieve career success.

One thing to focus on when you build your network is to find people who can provide you with support and guidance. Your network can do much more than just helping you find jobs – the people in your network can help you to be better at the work you do.

In fact, if you can make these six people part of your professional network, you’ll be able to get the help you need to be a better professional who can land a great job. The six people you need in your network include:

Someone who encourages you
If you hit bumps in the road or are feeling discouraged, you need a positive voice to talk up your talents and to help you feel better about where you’re going. Family members like spouses are often encouraging voices, but you want to surround yourself with lots of positive, professional role models as you try to achieve success in your career.

Someone who’ll judge you and be candid about it
It’s really hard to make an objective assessment of your own abilities. If you surround yourself with only cheerleaders, you won’t be able to identify your weaknesses and find areas of improvement. A person in your network who is willing to give you honest, candid feedback is an invaluable ally in your career advancement efforts.

Someone to advise you
Everyone needs advice, either because they aren’t yet experts in a particular area or because they need diversity of opinions to innovate. You should make sure you have at least one advisor in your network who can offer you advice and who you can run decisions by to get a different perspective.

Someone with skills that complement you
No matter how talented you are, you have weaknesses that you may want a partner to compensate for. Enlist partners in your network who succeed where you fall short so you can pool your combined talents.

Someone who can collaborate with you
When you have a great idea, you need someone who is on your wavelength and who understands your way of thinking and acting. When you have a person who you work well with on a team, you can collaborate together to take your creative ideas to the next level.

Someone who pushes you to go further
Often, the best person to inspire you to reach for new heights is a person who has doubted you in the past. You may be more motivated to prove someone wrong if they say something is impossible than you would be if you had only positive voices of encouragement expressing confidence in you.

You should build a personal and professional network that can help you to develop your skills and that can help you to find career opportunities. Spectra Staffing can help you to tap into our network of companies who are hiring so you can make connections with top businesses in your area that are looking for workers like you. Contact us today to find out more.