In today's fast-paced and competitive job market, having the right skills and experience is no longer enough to guarantee career advancement. As many individuals early in their career have discovered, it's not always the most skilled or experienced person who gets the promotion. Often, it's the person who has built strong relationships within their organization that gets noticed and selected for advancement opportunities.
Today we will explore the importance of relationships in career advancement and provide practical tips for strengthening relationships at work to increase your chances of getting promoted.
Understanding the Importance of Relationships in Career Advancement
It's a common misconception that career advancement is solely based on an individual's skills and experience. However, research has shown that relationships play a significant role in an individual's career success. A study by LinkedIn found that 85% of all jobs are filled through networking, and 70% of people were hired for a job because of a referral. These statistics highlight the importance of building strong relationships in the workplace, as they can lead to job opportunities and career advancement.
Building Relationships with Colleagues
The first step in building strong relationships at work is to establish good relationships with your colleagues. This can be achieved through simple acts such as saying hello in the morning, asking about their weekend, or showing an interest in their work. It's also essential to be a team player, offer to help with projects and tasks, and give credit where credit is due. By building strong relationships with your colleagues, you can create a support network that can help you navigate challenges in the workplace and advocate for you when opportunities arise.
Building Relationships with Your Supervisor
Building a strong relationship with your supervisor is critical to career advancement. It's essential to communicate regularly with your supervisor, keep them informed of your progress, and seek their feedback and guidance. It's also important to demonstrate your commitment to the organization and your role by taking on additional responsibilities and showing a willingness to learn and grow. By building a strong relationship with your supervisor, you can increase your visibility within the organization and demonstrate your readiness for new opportunities.
Building Relationships with Cross-Functional Teams
In today's collaborative work environment, it's essential to build relationships with cross-functional teams. This can be achieved through participating in company-wide initiatives, attending cross-functional meetings, and volunteering for projects that align with your interests and skills. By building relationships with cross-functional teams, you can expand your network, gain new skills and knowledge, and increase your visibility within the organization.
Building Relationships with External Stakeholders
Finally, it's essential to build relationships with external stakeholders, such as clients, vendors, and industry leaders. This can be achieved through attending industry events, participating in professional organizations, and engaging on social media. By building relationships with external stakeholders, you can increase your knowledge of industry trends, gain new insights, and create opportunities for collaboration and career advancement.
Building strong relationships is essential to career advancement. By understanding the importance of relationships in career advancement, building strong relationships with colleagues, supervisors, cross-functional teams, and external stakeholders, individuals can increase their visibility within the organization, demonstrate their readiness for new opportunities, and create a support network that can advocate for them when opportunities arise. Remember, it's not always the most skilled or experienced person who gets the promotion, it's the person who has built strong relationships within their organization that gets noticed and selected for advancement opportunities.
Jonathan H. Westover, PhD is Chief Academic & Learning Officer (HCI Academy); Chair/Professor, Organizational Leadership (UVU); OD Consultant (Human Capital Innovations). Read Jonathan Westover's executive profile here.