It is very easy in our day-to-day work lives to just get on with our job and interact with those where there is an immediate need. However, it is really key to think about which strategic relationships you need to build to support your career progression. Firstly, to fulfil your current role and also to support future roles you might move into.

As I say when I’m talking about networking, you can’t build a network the minute you need one.

So beyond your immediate team who do you know in your organisation? Importantly, who knows you?

Externally, how well are you known in your sector? How well are you known by those in related industries?

It doesn’t have to take a lot of time but it is worth spending an hour or so thinking about who else you need to know that will require a bit more effort i.e. you won’t naturally encounter them in your day-to-day. Once you have thought about this and made a plan to get to know them, it then becomes easier and hopefully it can just be a case of re-connecting with those people over time and reviewing the plan you have made periodically.

To read about four areas to focus on to progress your career, click here.

My top tips for thinking about who you need to know – who to build strategic relationships with

  1. More senior people in your area of the business. These are people that are frequently overlooked who are absolutely key to you progressing your career. Individuals often consider their boss and their boss’s boss, but who else at most senior levels might you need to know? Who else might be inputting into the decisions related to you, such as the projects you work on and the promotions you get.
  2. More senior people in other parts of the company – this is really important to think about if you think you may want to change departments at some point or if those people have an input into decisions made in your area of the business.
  3. Individuals in competitor organisations – there are several reasons why this can be helpful. To keep an eye on what else is going on in the market, perhaps to offer or receive referrals if one of your businesses can’t do a certain client project and finally if you are ever in the position of needing a new role. Someone I know from networking recently got made redundant and had planned on setting up his own business, within a few weeks of the redundancy a previous competitor company had offered him an excellent role. This is probably a role this man would not have otherwise heard about, it came from relationships he had built.
  4. People that run networking groups related to your industry – not only are these people great for connecting you with the contacts you need when you’re in your current role they also may be able to help point you in the right direction if you are looking to move on.

It is important to work on these strategic relationships before you need them, so that they become genuine and are built without a short-term objective in mind.

To understand why Exposure matters (built by strategic relationships), you can watch the 1 minute video blog The Importance of PIE here.

To read more on building your exposure and strategic relationships at work click here.

If you would like to talk about the strategic relationships you need to build and how to get started, why not book a complimentary 30 minute Career Booster session with me to talk it over?

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If you are responsible for performance and/or people development in your organisation, click here to download my guide The overlooked skills your people need to give your company a competitive advantage.

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