Bloomberg recently facilitated group discussions for its California chapter of the Bloomberg Women’s Buy-Side Network (BWBN) – a unique community focused on elevating women in the asset management industry. The BWBN brings members together to share challenges and opportunities while learning from one another.
Here we summarize the key takeaways from the four sessions of “Ask Me Anything” Conversation Circles.
Respecting people’s unique roles within your network
The value of networking to career development was a key theme throughout.
When it comes to advancing in your organization, for example, many of the women emphasized the importance of networking beyond your direct line on the org chart. In the session led by Jerilyn Castillo McAniff (Managing Director, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Oaktree Capital Management), they discussed how different career-change opportunities more often will come from someone outside your immediate network and the importance – if you are looking for new opportunities – to build and cultivate relationships in different concentric circles.
But building a network isn’t just about getting ahead. In a session led by Pooja Malik (Founding Partner and CEO of Nipun Capital LP), the group discussed how it’s wise to bucket your professional network into three categories: Your operational network, which can help you get things done day-to-day; your strategic network, which helps get you into the places and rooms you want to be in; and your development network, which helps you grow your reach outside your organization. Pooja adopted the concept of these three networks from a Harvard Business Review article and has found these to be a valuable guide in her own career.
Across your entire network, it’s important to respect the different roles people play when it comes to supporting you in your career. Monica Erickson (Head of Investment Grade Credit and Portfolio Manager at DoubleLine LP) recommended cultivating a personal “board” made up of a select few people in your life who each give great advice and guidance on a different aspect of your career. (One person for navigating promotions, another that helps with work relationships, and so on.) As with all good relationships, it’s essential to keep open lines of communication with these important people in your network and make sure they know they’re important to your development.