A lot of networking advice is aimed at small business owners (and salespeople) who use the skills to get more work for their business. There are those — and I know you might find it shocking — who actually do the work in a larger company — who never have to bring in the signed contracts. They are the fortunate ones. They don’t need networking, right?
While people in such “inward facing” jobs might like to think that they are exempt from networking, there are a lot of situations where networking will make their lives easier.
- Looking for a new position within the company. Is this the job you want forever?
- Getting on a coveted project. Does the show-runner know you and trust you?
- Starting a new project. Who do you know who will work well on your project? Who needs to give you approval?
- Getting your computer fixed. Who in the IT department wants you to succeed?
- Getting a new computer. Who in Procurement can make sure your paperwork gets expedited?
- Getting expenses reimbursed. Who in Accounting can make sure your paperwork is in order?
- Getting additional training. Does your boss (and her boss and his boss) believe you are indispensable and worth investing in? How do you know?
- Getting a new job. Do you really believe that your current job is permanent? Who will give you a glowing recommendation? Who outside the company knows what you can do and would keep an eye out for a new position for you?
When it comes down to it, no matter where you work or what your position, networking will make your life more secure. Make a point of making connections throughout any organization to which you belong. Just a coffee break here or a lunch hour there could be all it takes to have a successful and supportive career.