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I struggle building a network and have anxiety every time I'm on the bench. I reach out to people I know for BD help etc but it's never authentic or turns to projects. Any suggestions?

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It might be your approach. "Here's what I can do for you" is more effective than "Help me pls." Are you doing your research on the people you're trying to connect with? Find out what they need and position yourself to be that person. If you're on the bench, that might mean offering to help with proposals (and if that proposal results in a project, wonderful! You're already up to speed on the client's needs), doing research, writing a white paper, etc.

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How do you find out what they need?

Ask them.

Op if your on the bench ping folks you want to work for / support and try to meet up with them in person 15-20 minutes. Make sure you're ready to talk about what you want to do next and why you're qualified to do it. Then gracefully ask what are tactical next steps and how can you get involved.

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