The implicit assumption is that if you want to get a new job, you need to know people who have jobs. But that could be ANYbody with decision-making authority, so it’s not as helpful as you’d like to think.
Here’s some people who you need to develop good relationships with:
- Your boss. This is a person with whom you have some of the most contact, yet I see too many employees who are scared to treat their boss as an actual human. Yet when it comes to opening doors for you, there’s no one better positioned.
- The HR representative. Many of them are frustrated because they got into the job because they loved working with people, and are now spending all their time filling out forms. Many would appreciate the opportunity to help you with their broader view of the organization.
- The person who used to do your job. You may or may not want to follow the path they’ve taken, but there’s something to be learned from their experience.
- The person doing the job you want. Just imagine how powerful it might be if they gave you inside information about what it takes to do that job, and then recommended you as their replacement when they move on!
- The IT guy. He tends to be invisible, but sees what’s going on in many departments. He might be able to help you be more productive by making better use of the technology you have – or could start using.
- Your union rep. If you are in a union environment, her top priority is to help you get the treatment you deserve. If she knows you by name, she’s much more likely to help you the next time you need it.
- The person who would be impacted if you left. He just might help you deliver more valuable work, and even convince your boss not to lay you off the next time that money gets tight.
- The lady in the finance department. Most major decisions are based on a financial analysis, so she’ll have an advance view of things that are being considered. And if you can translate your value into monetary terms, you’ll be able to better justify that next raise or promotion – and improve the impact of your résumé tenfold.
- The person who wants your job. Really? Yes. You become more valuable to your employer when you’re able to help others be as effective as you are, and you might remove a barrier to your promotion if there’s someone ready to do your job.
- Your spouse or partner. Remember, life isn’t just about work. It’s also about having other relationships and living out your life as a human being. Plus, who will you turn to when you’re stressed about your job?
Get out there, and start developing more relationships than just the work you deliver. If you want to enjoy your work more, if you want to improve your future, it’s all about WHO you know!