To land a plum assignment is it more
important to a) have a proven track record, b) have a strong work ethic, or c)
have a good network?
Trick question: the answer is all of the
above. Many people might assume that a proven track record and a robust work
ethic is enough but what truly distinguishes two proven performers is their
network. Strong alliances can be career differentiators for strong performers.
Given the choice between two first-rate performers,
smart employers choose the person who is a proven relationship builder. After
all, relationships are the pipelines through which information flows and
projects are moved forward. If your pipeline is weak or broken in spots, your
ability to effect change and drive momentum is compromised.
How to build strong alliances:
Build (and maintain) relationships at your current and past jobs. Schedule time
for networking just as you would any other task; send e-mails, have lunch with
colleagues and try to attend conferences and seminars in your field every few
months. Join industry associations but don't overlook your personal life: be
active in alumnae associations and in civic and community groups.
Take time to mentor up-and-coming colleagues. A mentoring relationship can be
incredibly rewarding both personally and professionally. Successful mentoring
is a two-way street: mentors pass along their knowledge and perspective and
mentees share fresh outlooks and a younger generation's knowledge of hot trends
and technologies. Plus young mentees will grow and move on, expanding a
Seek out opportunities to collaborate with peers both within your company and
more broadly, within your industry. Look to work across departments within a
company or join a steering committee of a trade association that will allow you
to meet industry peers. Consider partnering with another business on a joint
venture. Opening a door to a new group of people grows your network and expands
The bedrock of any relationship is built on trust. Look to have the back of the
people you work and interact with every day. By acting as an ally to your
colleagues and clients, in matters both large and small, you forge a strong
bond. Cultivate a reputation as a trustworthy, loyal, people person. When you
extend yourselves to others, that trust is generally repaid in kind.
do you cultivate valuable career alliances? Share your thoughts here and at
the Pendaflex Facebook
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Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates
passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization. Believing in "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.