Let’s be honest, how many times have you bitched about a peer, who got the job you were eyeing or the promotion you aspired for – when God Forbid both of have the same level of expertise and education backgrounds.
- why am I stuck in the same dead-end job
- why am I not walking the path that I visualized
- why am I earning less that what he/she did and then progressively moved on while my job is still at the same deadbeat place and dead beat colleagues…grrr
- why am I not picked up for the junket/conference
- why am I not accompanying my bus on that make or break client meeting
Well, if you start to feel like Rudyard Kipling when he must have penned The Man, welcome to the club… there are a lot of us out there
All of us eventually come to this point of self-introspection where we sit back and evaluate our present and scheme our future. Either because we have been pushed into a corner, reach breaking point or our self-delusional grandeur has just fallen flat on its face. I do not use plot and future in the same breath since very few people sit back and intelligently assess their strengths, their points to improve and visualize and act towards their destiny or self actualisation
While answers to the questions we niggle about may vary from not enough gumption/initiative to right skill sets to not enough visibility, it is the last bit that often plays a key role in selection. Like it or not, in today’s dog (b)eat dog world, having visibility or in other words networking can make or break your path to a golden pen/blackberry/whatever else you will.
Networking is wrongly mistaken linked with sucking up or licking…. It is NOT. Networking is about knowing when to play up your strengths and whom you play up to. You do not have to be a YES Man, remember Jim Carrey, to be a savvy networker.
What does it take for you to Smile and greet your colleague, your supervisor, the sales guy who may be a prospective client, the receptionist who may turn out to be a reliable source of information or any of the people you meet when you walk out the door? Nothing, right. All it takes is stretching your lips and showing your pearly whites. Don’t scare them off with an ingratiating grin, a cheery ‘Hi, good seeing you’ will suffice.
Walk across the floor and meet your co-workers. Walk to the next floor and meet colleagues in a different department. Share lunch or a quick tea break with your co-workers, I do not recommend a smoke break because health consideration aside imagine the damage your feet have to bear standing out on the footpath and bumming a quick smoke!! And what if your potential boss walks by and sees you blow away smoke rings, not very professional, n’est pas?!
Getting back to meeting and networking… you do not need to attend every office party or be the clown at every office do, but dropping in once in a while at an office do and cracking a joke or two or laughing at a joke or two won’t hurt you.
Hanging out with your coworkers or making small chat with your supervisor or BIG Boss doesn’t have to be a chore. Find out their hobbies/non-professional interests, perhaps there is common ground that can make breaking the ice easier and not so much apple polishing.
Help out people. Remember there is always some one who knows a lot less than you do 🙂
All the best.