Many people include networking in their job hunting strategy and quit it once they find work…BIG MISTAKE. Networking within your company is just as important as establishing connections externally. Internal networking allows you to learn more about your co-workers and what they do, and it gives you a broader perspective of the company as a whole. Also, the more friends you have on the inside, the easier it is for you to get buy-in on ideas and initiatives.
Something else to keep in mind is that most people don’t stay at one job forever. Strong internal connections leave with you when you’re ready to move on. Here are some pointers on how to build or strengthen those workplace relationships:
- Pick someone at your company you’d like to learn more about or learn from. Invite that person to lunch — I dare you.
- Avoid hanging with the same people all the time. Doing so creates a perception that you’re only accessible to certain people. Create pockets of time when you’re alone, like in the break room enjoying a cup of java.
- Create opportunities for people to come together at the office. For example, you can host an appreciation luncheon to thank the people and departments that partnered with you throughout the year and made your life as an employee smooth.
- Be a resource. Make your colleagues’ lives easier. If you see an article they could benefit from, send a link. If there’s a conference you think they could learn from, send them the information about it. Gratitude is a great starting point for building a good working relationship. The more they appreciate your assistance, the more likely they are to enter into a mutually rewarding workplace relationship with you.
- Find a mentor or be a mentor. Whichever side you’re on, people are waiting for you to guide them or to seek guidance from them. Just look around.
What have been your experiences with internal networking? Share some of your tips here!