What is prompting you to look for a new job? This is one question that I ask all of my candidates. A few common answers are: “there is no room for growth”, “others are getting promoted over me”, or “I am not getting the interesting projects like I used to”. One missing link that I have noticed time and time again amongst these candidates is their lack of internal networking.
Many people often look at ways at which they can grow their network outside of the office but often overlook the importance of building strong relationships within the office.
One comment a candidate once made to me was, “Jim is always the one getting the special projects even though I am much more qualified”. He then continued to say, “I am a much harder worker than Jim; he spends way too much time chatting with others about hockey.” Little did this candidate know that while he was slaving away at his computer Jim was building rapport and common ground with others in the office, particularly the President who was a huge hockey fan. This candidate admitted to doing very little internal networking and commented on how difficult it was for him to build rapport with others in the office. Jim’s hockey chats, among other forms of internal networking, appeared to pay off. Jim was offered an amazing opportunity to work on a large, high profile project which set the stage for his career development. This candidate was certain that Jim was offered this project because of the relationships which he had formed.
The moral of this story is that this candidate became complacent in his job. Internal networking was not his forte and I believe he had not realized the importance of it. Being an internal networker means that you take time to out of your day to connect with others in the office and find ways to add value.
A few examples of internal networking may include:
- mentoring new hires
- organizing an office fundraising team
- it could be as simple as asking a coworker to lunch who you have never connected with before.
Internal networking is not for “suck-ups”! Go ahead and challenge yourselves. Connect with someone in the office that you may never have connected with before. Look into what other office programs you could join or initiate yourself.
Discover the value add of internal networking!
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