Going about any business venture by yourself means a lot on ones shoulders. All of us could do with an extra hand, catapulting us further than we had ever imagined.
Whatever business we represent, whether client or candidate, the allies that we all form are key. The people that are outside of our business are also valuable inside of it.
But how do we find the right people to help? What if they don’t want any part? Do you have to help people too?
Independently headlining your own project is a fair enough idea, but there’s a surprising number of like-minded businesses out there who are willing to lend a hand.
Support Leads To Success
Choosing the right project to pair with is an essential element if both teams are to succeed. Ian Jones of Bournemouth University (BU) echoes this mantra. As Head of Regional Community Partnerships for the University, he finds it tough to know who to help out and whether the cost benefit balances out.
“With everything morphing and changing like it is nowadays, there’s no formula as to who to help. What I look at are the people. If the right people have the right ethics regardless of their success, that’s what matters.”
Once someone valuable is on your radar, half the job is done. Finding that first beneficial partner to assist you and vice versa allows the mechanical wheel to start moving, and developments happen. It requires a watchful eye to find the business best suited to working with you, but they will be equally as wary:
“You want to partner with someone who has evidence of their impact. Can I work with them? Can I trust them?”
It is easy to get lost among your own ideas and dreams, but a second opinion can, and will, save you a lot of hassle. Our very own Rock Star Awards (coming in Spring 2019) rely on the support of others, and we wouldn’t be where we are without it. BU has been intertwined with the awards since 2012, and this link is continuously evolving.
Sponsoring our 2019 awards is on their checklist, offering a supportive hand which helps both us and BU. Rock offers opportunity for BU’s students, and BU supports the Rock Star Awards through sponsorship and young talent.
Ian reckons that Rock was the right partnership for him, after seeing the people behind the curtain. Ian said,
“If the awards are about young people, you have to believe the people care about these young people too. Is there something in place to put them on a platform? Are they able to network and help them to develop? That’s the hard bit to find. And Rock ticked the boxes.”
“It always turns into something good if you are working with the right people.”
Putting The Mantra Into Practice
The connection and working relationship between two businesses is more than just promotion for one another. It is an extra pair of eyes, ears and opinions. Partnerships build a stronger end product, one that both teams will happily sign off on.
Securing a solid partnership is tough, and coming from the same mentality and ethos is so important. Everyone has to be working together for the right reasons, and there’s no harm in being selective when finding this perfect match. It’s a help-me help-you situation.
Angela. Piromalli, Managing Director of Rock agrees with this mentality. In her case, knowing that BU’s involvement in the awards would benefit both sides made her decision an easy one. With a six year strong partnership still powering on, evidently the support from one another did its job.
“Fitting in with our focus and passion for young people, it only made sense to get BU involved. At the beginning of the relationship, it was just an idea and I didn’t know if anyone was going to support it.
“The day BU agreed to work together was the day the idea flew.”
Bournemouth University works with us for our Community Star and Student Star awards, both of which would be completely different without that mutual support between businesses. Striving to celebrate those who have gone above and beyond, both our mind-sets were the same, therefore the partnership has been, and is effortless.
“You have to be aligned in your objectives and what you both want.”
In the Rock Star Awards example, BU helps us find talent and sponsors the awards themselves, celebrating a mutual interest. We aim to give them back the same amount of passion and time in their endeavours, bridging the gap between the soon-to-be employed and those with years of experience, a relationship often overlooked by other companies considering the struggle of modern young people to gain employment.
The Role of Employers & Graduates in Today’s World
Support can come in all shapes and sizes, including between employers and graduates. Nowadays many people would argue that finding a job is harder than ever, so getting a foot in the door early on seems to do the trick.
Our partnership with BU is bridging this gap between idealism and reality for these students, supporting them with future possibilities. Ian seemingly agrees,
“The pressure on young people is quite immense from a young age. There has to be a business drive within Universities as students are paying all this money. If we are not connected to our community the opportunities will not show themselves.”
On the employer’s side, recruiters are demanding a lot more from potential employees. Ian argues that different skill sets are sought after now, and the pool of applicants is a lot larger than it was in the past. Ambition, creativity and spark are highly valued, not exam performance. Both employers and students are adapting to this new way of thinking.
“The degree you get doesn’t matter as much anymore. It’s complete fallacy. It all comes back to how you tell your story and how you can articulate who you are. Partnerships like ours with Rock are giving students the chance to do this.”
Ian argues that these early pathways are the only true way to see what people are like, as decisions of someone’s character take longer than a job interview allows.
There are multiple issues within the job world and academia, and we are only just starting to catch up with them and truly adjust to what is going on around us. Fingers crossed we can keep up.
Let’s Sum Up
Finding and creating worthwhile partnerships are worthwhile.
Gaining career-long support from a like-minded company to both achieve your ultimate goals, partnerships demonstrate how the business world is morphing into a supportive family structure, rather than a race to be the best.
Angela summed up this ideology perfectly,
“If we all join together and work collaboratively, we won’t need to reinvent the wheel. Let’s just create these bridges between ourselves and we’ll get a much further reach.”
We don’t need to all fight each other if we work together, utilising each other’s resources and making the best out of what we already have. That’s how to flourish as a network, with everyone smiling at the outcome. Success doesn’t have to be individual, it can cross through students, employers, large and small businesses.
After all, isn’t that what networking is for?