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Is it necessary to network among current colleagues?

August 14, 2011 - Professional Development

networkingNetworking.  We know how important it is when searching for a job.  Building and nurturing connections provides support during the good times, and can be a key to survival during the bad times.

But now that you have a job, don’t think the value of networking has evaporated.  Building a solid network among current colleagues is just as important for your present and future job opportunities at the company you work for now.  Here’s what you can accomplish through networking with your colleagues:

1. Build rapport with influencers

When looking to drive change in an organization, it’s important to know who the influencers are.  Keep an eye out for the peers and leaders people really listen to, and seek out conversations with them.  You’ll both learn more about each other, giving you insight into their priorities, and them insight into your initiatives.  You just might acquire change agents in the process.

2. Get in touch with the politics

In the corporate world, there’s no escaping politics in the workplace.  And unfortunately, Navigating Corporate Politics 101 hasn’t quite made it into standard undergrad curriculum yet.  So what’s a person to do?  Network with your colleagues.  Listen for keys to the dynamics surrounding members of leadership.  There are unspoken rules for driving change in any organization, so learn what will need to be handled delicately, and who the key players are.

3. Build a connection with new teammates

teamBeing part of a new team can be intimidating.  In addition to learning a new role and having a new boss, you are going to be working closely with new people.  Take time to get to know everyone better.  You’ll find networking with new teammates will accelerate your acceptance into “the fold,” and also help you learn critical information for your new role faster.  It’s as easy as rolling your chair over to a neighboring colleague’s desk and having a five minute conversation.

4. Gain visibility in support of your next role or promotion

In the corporate world, rule number one is to make your boss happy.  But rule number two is to make yourself visible to leaders outside of your direct team.  At the end of the year, when everyone is evaluated and performance ratings are being assigned, you want more people than just your boss to understand the value you brought to the organization that year.  That will make it immensely easier to land your next promotion, or make a lateral move to a new role to gain more experience.

Which of these networking tactics has made an impact on your career?

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