How to advance in your current career by networking

 How to advance in your current career by networking

Networking on the job is one of the most powerful ways of influencing your career. Here are some practical steps that you can take right now.

Step 1: Identify some of the people that would be great for you to connect with.

The length of the list is going to vary depending on the size your your employer. If you work for a small company than you're going to want most of the people you work with to be at least some what familiar with you and your work. If you work at a huge company than a list of 10 people you want to develop relationships with is a great idea.

Step 2: decide who you want to start connecting with first.

Perhaps you'll choose someone who you've felt a natural affinity with or someone who has already made it clear they'd be happy to grab coffee or lunch with you.

Step 3: reach out to them and arrange some time where you can get to know each other better.

If you're reaching out to someone ho is significantly higher up in your company than you are then you'll want to take a more formal approach and let them know about specific topic you'd like to discuss with them. For example, you might email them just saying you're interest in learning a bit more about their career trajectory - more like if you were reaching out to someone outside of your company. If its someone who is just a level or two above you, then it maybe easier to just ask if they'd want to grab lunch or coffee with them.

Step 4: continue to nurture the relationship.

After you've had a chance to connect with them, continuously make an effort to nurture the relationship. Set some sort of quantifiable goal so tat you're making a consistent effort until its like a regular relationship where you don't have to think about it. For example, maybe you'll decide that two times per week you'll some form of contact whether its popping your head into their office in the morning to say hello or shooting them an email bout something they might find interesting and relevant.

These steps are so simple but SO many people overlook them and just focus on their work. Definitely focus on your work and do the best work that you can, but don't forget to nurture those relationships too.