Leadership,  Strategy


It would be great if doing excellent work was enough to accelerate your career path but it usually does not work that way. Building your network is one of the things I would recommend. 

People often see networking as attending unique events and accumulating key contacts. But it is much more than that. You need to start seeing networking more about farming than hunting. You can start from where you are. At work, school, social club.  Start cultivating meaningful relationships and establishing strong connections.

Here are some relationships you need to start paying attention to no matter what stage you are at in your career. You need mentors, people that can guide you through different walks of life. You also need sponsors as Carla Harris rightly pointed out in one of her many insightful presentations. The ones that will speak for you behind closed doors in a board room.  

You also need an ally; sound individual(s) you can bounce ideas off who is not afraid to tell you the truth. They could be your peers, even spouse. Some colleagues who do not report to you or are not in your department. And yes, you guessed it, your team. And let us not forget the boss. This list by no means is exhaustive. 
You may currently be studying for your MBA program, moving to another country with your family, starting a remote job and more. The principle stays the same. Look to build meaningful connections.  

Do not treat networking and work interactions as a tool to get only what you want. This transactional approach to building connections may come back to haunt you no matter how long it takes. I have seen people get knocked off at the C-Suite level as quickly as they rose through the ranks because of this.  

Genuinely show interest and position yourself ready to add value to people in relationships you are nurturing even when you do not need something in return. For example, while speaking to a Sponsor few weeks ago, I discovered that she was looking to learn a new skill I had mastered during the pandemic. I immediately saw it as an opportunity to add value. This is imperative for career success and growth. 

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