The number one job skill of the 21st century is the ability to build and keep working relationships. Since you are likely to change jobs several times during the course of your career, developing and maintaining a network of relationships is very important. The best and easiest place to start building your network is at the office.
Every day you make personal contacts and connections with the people you work with. Each person in your office, from the head honcho to the newest recruit has the potential to help your career. It might be that your co-worker’s mom works at the company you would love to work for someday. Do not count anyone out—they may just be that valuable business contact for you in the future!
Forging the right kind of relationships at work is imperative to on-the-job success. Here is a breakdown of the relationships you should be nurturing at work and how you can leverage them for career growth.
- Your boss: How well you succeed and grow within your career depends a great deal on your boss. Your boss can decide to let you handle major clients and accounts, or give you that great performance review, salary boost or promotion. Your boss can be your mentor too. He or she can give you the experience that is beneficial to your career path, the guidance and direction to learn and grow in your job, and show you the door to opportunity. Needless to say, the relationship with your boss is the most valuable relationship to your career!
- One way to leverage the relationship with your boss is to make your boss look good. You can do that through strong job performance, taking on high profile assignments, and helping out in other departments.
- A second (and very important) way is to interact with your boss on a personal level too. Learn about his or her family, hobbies, etc. Ask your boss to lunch once in a while. It’s easy to get stuck in your daily work routine—but the hour spent away from the office can be imperative to your on-the-job success.
- Co-workers: The colleagues that you work with everyday are valuable to you, and to make the most of the relationship you should be valuable to them as well. Lend an extra hand when they are in a crunch at work. Compliment them on jobs well done. Get to know your co-workers and be genuinely interested. Ask them to lunch or for drinks after work—time away from the office to get to know them on a different level. As you and your colleagues move on and grow in your careers, they may become some of your best networking connections.
- Clients: A satisfied client may just call on you in the future when they are looking for someone to hire or they can put a good word in for you with your boss if you are trying to move up within your own company. Be someone they can depend on and go the extra mile for them when necessary.
Being connected with people at work not only helps you help get ahead in your career, but it also makes the workplace a more enjoyable environment for you on a daily basis. The time is now to start building relationships and reaping the rewards at the workplace.Top 3 Reasons It Is Important to Get Along with Co-Workers: Getting Along with Your Manager, Coworkers and Clients by Harrison Barnes