You Should Network In-House, Too

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Tip of the Day

Building a network within your company can be as important to your success as developing contacts outside. Your colleagues can help you learn more about the business, offer informed guidance about politically sticky situations and help you meet people beyond your normal circle.

As you go about developing relationships, be sure to pay attention to your company’s culture. In some businesses, relentless networking could brand you as a cutthroat while in others you might be lauded for your assertiveness. Also, remember that even big companies can have tight grapevines. Never speak negatively about other people or anything else in the organization. You don’t want to risk having indiscretions reach the ears of the people you’re talking about. And be especially careful with email. Surveys show that most employers retain it, and you never know who might review old messages, and when.

Of course, networking is about building two-way relationships, so always be on the lookout for ways to help your contacts. Helping others will give you the kind of reputation you want throughout the company, while only asking for favors will make you known as a user.

And finally, remember that your in-house networking will have value even if you leave the company. Your former colleagues may move on themselves, and you don’t know what connections they might develop that could help you down the road.

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