There’s never been a time in history where your brand and what people think of you is so important. In a world of tech, transparency and values, it really does matter what people think. A large part of the people in your immediate circle are likely to be your co-workers. The people that see you most days in person or on zoom, or exchange emails or WhatsApps with you. So why is it important to network with them and make a good impression? Let’s take a look.
Networking with Co-workers – Reason 1 – Happy Workplace, Happy life
Most of the time that you spend in your life when you are not sleeping is at work or with co-workers. If you choose to invest in building relationships with your co-workers, not only are you more likely to achieve great things, but you are more likely to enjoy it.
They say people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses. I believe people leave co-workers as well. Careers is a people business, it’s about relationships, both for progress but also fulfilment.
If you prioritise building relationships with co-workers and with people across the organisation, likelihood is you will progress better within the organisation, progress projects quicker and have a happier time doing it. Some people might think it’s not necessary but if you take personal responsibility for being part of a cohesive team, I assure you that your work life balance will be hugely enriched.
Networking with Co-workers – Reason 2 – Organisational Bias!
I recently posted a poll on my personal profile on LinkedIn, highlighting that promotions is not just about skills and experience but it’s also about your personal brand. Many times I work with people wanting to break through the C-suite ceiling for the first time. Part of the challenge is them understanding that in order to be considered for a c-suite position, one must start acting with the same level of gravitas, composure and influence that a c-suite professional brings to the table.
What the organisation and your co-workers think of you really matters. Even in the fairest and most transparent of HR processes, I can assure you that after having been involved in the recruitment of more than 200,000 people in my career, personal bias exists and is impossible to eradicate, especially for an internal recruitment process.
As a candidate you can either choose to ignore that this bias exists or you can strategies a plan to use the HR dark arts in your favour. Prior to that you can focus on your brand. If you know what your brand is and what people think of you and it doesn’t align with what you want them to think of you, then it’s time to stake action. Every perception and brand message can change, but it requires an action plan for it to change.
If you were to ask 5 co-workers what they think of you and they could respond anonymously, what would they say?
Do you think it aligns with what you wish they would say? Perhaps try it, it’s an interesting exercise to test the water on your internal brand.
Networking with Co-workers – Reason 3 – Future Planning!
If you are reading this article, then chances are that you would like to progress your career at some point in the future. Even if you are happy and fulfilled now, you may in the future, want a different title, a different compensation package or a different role scope. In order to be fulfilled you need mastery and that requires change.
The best way to progress is for co-workers to rate you. I can assure you that most of the good co-workers that you work with will progress their careers over the next few years, five years ,ten years. If you are in a small industry (and even massive industries like education and health are incredibly small once you have been in them for a while) then chances are when you go for your opportunity, people are going to talk about your prospects. It may even be a former co-worker that has progressed faster and is interviewing you for the opportunity.
It does no harm to plan for the future now. Who in your organisation has the highest ceiling potential? Who is going places? Who is not? Does this impact on how much priority you give them for your stakeholder map? Possibly.
The easiest way to progress is to build good relationships, have a good brand and do it with the right people. This is the safest way to safeguard your future in an industry.
We hope you enjoyed our article. If you have mastered putting together your base networking plan and want to really understand how to put your best foot forward in your career, get in touch with our CEO Richard Edge for a complimentary consultation.
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