Settling into a new job might make you think networking is no longer worth doing, but most experts agree that the opposite is true. If you want to find a promotion within the company you are currently working in, get your networking efforts started as quickly as possible. Climbing the corporate ladder can be accomplished much easier when you strive to make connections and build smart work relationships with your coworkers – it can have a powerful effect on the way you build your career.
Getting Started with Networking
One of the first things you should do when you get started in your job is begin to network, but who should you approach first? Start by getting to know people who have been working the same job you just started, but who have been there somewhat longer than you have. They will be able to provide you with useful insight and clues into how the career climb trajectory tends to play out within that particular company. You can also ask your boss which people are the most important/ knowledgeable to meet.
Since you just got started in the company, you do not want to give off the impression of being too arrogant. At the same time, you want to immediately make people think you are the sort of person who makes changes happen. One of the best ways to do this is by taking the time to introduce yourself to a wide variety of people in the company, regardless of the specific job position these people have. (However, be mindful not to jump rank and go straight to the top.) It will help people to begin thinking of you as someone who is determined, focused, and really worth getting to know. This could have a powerful effect on your networking success.
The Key to Smart Networking
The idea is to make new contacts, while at the same time being a diligent worker. The best way to do this is to talk to people during lunch or smoke breaks, rather than during work hours. Feel free to ask for advice and information when other people are free to give it, but try to avoid interrupting busy schedules to make connections – it may do more harm than good.
Expand Your Network Beyond Your Department
Developing your network does not mean you should limit yourself to your specific division or department. You can contact other people in the company, who may be working in separate divisions, and expand your network accordingly. The bigger your network is, the higher the potential for success. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.
There are likely to be people in your company, who have worked there for many years, that know the general way in which the organization tends to handle promotions and pay-raises. They can provide you with quite a bit of valuable information, if you allow them to. Finding a mentor could be extremely beneficial to you, but make sure that you notify your manager if necessary.
Keep It Informal and Friendly
If you appear too fired up about making new meetings and contacting a lot of people within a very short time frame, you will make people wonder what you are up to. People are often hesitant to be helpful when they feel you might have an agenda. Try to avoid scheduling many meetings at once and instead approach such events casually. Make people feel comfortable and relaxed in your presence and they will be more inclined to help you out.
It is clear that networking is extremely important – even after you have already found a new job. It is always a good idea to continue building your network by making new connections within your company, as it can help you later down the road when you are looking for a promotion or even a new job at a different company.
Networking is often something that many employees fail to do and the results of this can be quite disastrous. Be sure to put in some quality effort, in order to network intelligently, while avoiding the above-mentioned mistakes.