Create your own future work opportunities


We all know how important it is to build relationships with the right people, and how those people can shape your world and your future. Yet how much time and effort do we spend in identifying who those people are and in building strong relationships with them? asks Hilary Jeanes of PurpleLine Consulting.

“Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people.” – Source unknown

“Get the right people on the bus and in the right seat.” ~ Jim Collins

“Problems can become opportunities when the right people come together.” ~ Robert South

We all know how important it is to build relationships with the right people.  How those people can shape your world and your future.  Yet how much time and effort do we spend in identifying who those people are and in building strong relationships with them? 

I recognise how influential some mentors and colleagues have been in my own life and career, providing encouragement, constructive feedback, support, ideas, inspiration and often opportunities too.

In this thought provoking article,  Jocelyn Glei describes the 21st century career as “more like a broad rock face that we are all free climbing” rather than the traditional ladder that was prevalent in the 20th century.  As she points out, the rapid advance of technology means that “a substantive portion of the working population now earns its livelihood doing a job that didn't exist 10 or 20 years ago”, which makes planning your career very tricky.  She offers some tips to stay ahead of the game – highlighting the critical role that people and ongoing learning play in this.

In her book The Shift, Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice at the London Business School, paints a picture of what the world of work will look like in 2025.  It is based on extensive research with global organisations and identifies 32 key trends that are shaping the future of work.

Two ideas in particular interest me:

-          Building your posse – Gratton describes this as “a relatively small group of people you can assemble quickly who have some of the same expertise in common – with sufficient overlap to really understand each other and add value quickly.  The Posse members trust you; they have ridden out with you before.  These are people you have known for some time and who like and support you.  To really attract a posse will take honing of some important co-operative skills: becoming skilled at mentoring, learning how to make the best of diversity and communicating well with people, even if they are virtual.”

-          Building a Big Ideas Crowd – “these are people in the outer reaches of your network, often friends of friends. They are completely different from you, yet are prepared to make a connection.  There are lots of them: your Posse could be as few as three people; your Big Ideas Crowd could be hundreds, perhaps thousands.  They will be crucial to the way you innovate and find ideas and insights beyond the obvious.”  This reminds me of Seth Godin’s concept of tribes.

What are you doing to build your posse and tribe or big ideas crowd and to build up your portfolio of knowledge and skills? 

As Jocelyn Glei says “Work, knowledge, and opportunities flow through people, which means that who we know - and how we know them - is our most important asset. But relationships don't get built by exchanging business cards. They get built with energy, care, enthusiasm, and, most importantly, time - lots of time.”

Whatever your field of work, ignore this advice at your peril...


Hilary Jeanes is a Leadership Coach and Director of PurpleLine Consulting.  She can be contacted on 01763 245323 or by email to

To read more information, click here.

Working with you to realise your potential at work by

- getting clear about your strengths and aspirations
- increased confidence and self belief
- identifying and securing your ideal job
- supporting you to thrive and enjoy your life.

Leadership and career coaching for individuals.
Coaching & mentoring for HR leaders and practitioners.
Coaching senior leaders in isolated roles.
Coaching individuals to design the life you'd love on retirement.
Meeting and workshop facilitation.

Hilary Jeanes (trading as PurpleLine Consulting Limited)