No man is an island.
You've probably heard that before. And it's true. Man innately craves inter-dependence and support. The mistake a few of us often make however is that we expect one person or a particular group of people to satisfy this need. So we believe that having a spouse or a few best friends removes the need to have anyone else in our corner. But while these people are important, they honestly often cannot support the very many parts that make you whole. And even though your besties may be the ones to call at 2am, they may not be the best people to give you some Career Tips.
So, I think these 5 support networks are pretty important to have:
1. Career Network:
If you've been reading this blog for a long time, you'll remember this post about my Frolleague. Last week, I just had to call her to talk about work. While having a friend(s) at work is important, a larger support network is even more necessary. These people don't have to be in the same office as you. But it'll be helpful if they're on the same career path. They have a good understanding of your field and you're able to bounce ideas of each other in a bid to grow and develop together. My besties may be medical doctors and so trying to explain the legal market to them may not lead to the right support I need. Same goes for Students. I can honestly say that I wouldn't have had a first class degree in both my undergrad LL.B and Nigerian Law School without a core support system. From studying together, sharing notes and dissecting legal cases, to attempting to pull off all nighters they provided the support required! It's important that you check your network and ensure you have this one ticked right. Again, these people don't have to be your best buds. But when it relates to your career, you know they'll be there for you!
2. Your Passion / Side Hustle Compatriots:
We pretty much agree it's important to separate your 9-5 from your side hustle. Maybe because I've now started blogging (It's been six months people!) can I appreciate the need for this particular support group! Honestly, my closest friends have no inkling about the blogosphere. They aren't even on social media much, so I definitely cannot count on them to RT my tweets! Neither are they the ones I run to when I have constant questions on blogging. The blogging community has been so supportive and I'm happy to run to them with my questions (Thanks a lot people!). So it should be with you. Whatever your passion, you should have people you're able to turn to - from natural hair enthusiasts to book lovers, find them! And if you're in it for profit purposes, don't let the fear of competition stop you from developing such network. Collaboration over Competition - I think there's enough room for everyone to shine.
3. Social Network / Travel Buddies:
Well, all work and no play isn't the way. So career and side hustle aside, you need to chill. If your besties are in your city and into your kind of social activities then good for you! But for some strange reason, I've sort of realised that best buddies could sometimes be so different. So while one is all for crazy adventures like rock climbing, the other is happy to lie by a beach in Barbados! So, you need to have a group of peeps who are happy to discover all the new joints with you and feed your inner wanderlust. No matter how much I love my friends, I'm never getting on this kind of ride. No way. Find your adrenaline buddies elsewhere, biko*.
4. Health & Fitness Squad:
If you're the only one of your friends struggling to be fit as everyone else is naturally fit, then sticking with them 24/7 as they constantly order pizza and fries will not help. You need a fitness squad! Like I stated in my July recap, I was so concerned about my bingo wings and I joined Coach E's online weight loss class. Fam, those ladies go in. From sharing photos of their healthy meals and their work out routine, I can't help but pick up my 2kg dumbbells. Fitness is so in now, and nothing like someone else's inspiration rubbing off on you. So go ahead, and find a fitness squad if you need it!
5. Faith Team:
Last one on here, but definitely not the least. It's important to have a group of people you relate to on this level. People who can challenge you, and help you grow. Last weekend on Twitter, I stumbled on a group of Christian ladies who meet up every Saturday in London to fellowship and talk about issues from a Christian perspective. On this day we talked about anxiety and mental health, which I've been pretty concerned about, since I interviewed Rayo. I was pretty free that Saturday, so I met up with them and the picnic was so good. The Jollof rice made it so with it. I kid. The more important bit was the fellowship, and it was good to just be in their midst, sharing and praying. Here's the Twitter handle if you're in London and interested: @LWFITC - Ladies Who Fellowship in the City.
So that's it peeps. This list is by no means exhaustive and the point to be taken away is support groups are needed. You may be a new mum and all your friends are still in the dating cycle. Well, find a support group! Now, you're probably thinking so what are my besties for? Well for getting you food at 2am and laughing at your boring jokes. But seriously though, they could no doubt form part of some or all of these - but if not, then you need other kinds of support.
The great thing about support networks is that it doesn't have to be physical. With social media everything can be virtual. Well, except of course your social network/travel buddies. I'll imagine you actually want to hang out in real life and not you know, just online.
Any thoughts? Have I missed out a group? What's your support network like - diverse or a tight bunch of the same group of people for everything? What are your thoughts on adrenaline rides? Will you attempt the one in the photo above?
Biko* - Igbo word, means please.