In Part 1 of this series, we looked at aspects of self-awareness as a way to assess your career now and in the future. It’s always important to gauge your true feelings about the state of your career and how it is or is not working for you.
Your self-awareness is a critical part of this assessment, but your relationships with others are equally important.
Even as a solopreneur, relationships are key to my own success. They become much more so in a company/corporation. Having the right relationships, working on these relationships, and growing them can also grow your career.
It really does take a village to bring together a successful career. Think about the village of your situation right now. Who are the critical players? What exposure do you have to them? Are your relationships working in the way that’s best for you and your career?
If you regularly miss outings and other opportunities to be with peers and leaders outside of the office, you may be missing an opportunity in your career.
Here are a few things to consider in cultivating the right relationships in your career:
How’s your relationship with your boss and with their peers? It’s always important to have a great relationship with your boss, but it’s equally important to have visibility within your boss’s peer group. These are the leaders who will be in the room discussing your career. So many times as a senior leader, I would present candidates for promotion only to hear my peers say, “But I don’t even know who that is.” Assess your visibility in the organization. Cultivate your relationship with your boss. If you have a difficult relationship, consider moving or find out what you need to do to manage your boss effectively.
Do you have the right people/team around you?
Sounds cliché but the right people really do make all the difference. Is your team a cooperative one? Do you have a supportive boss or support from upper management? Do you feel a part of the team or an outsider? How well do you know your co-workers? What steps do you take to network with peers on a regular basis? You are all working toward the same goals. It helps to have a great relationship with these individuals.
Who are your supporters/mentors/sponsors? List them out. How often do you meet with them? Don’t have mentors or sponsors? Now is the time to work to cultivate these important relationships. Many leaders consider it an honor to mentor others (at one time, I mentored 25 individuals as a leader). Sponsors are developed over time. Please see my article on Sponsorship for more information.
How’s the stability of the department/company? Is it time to look at options? Although this is not a relationship factor, per se, this is more about being aware of what is going on around you. Is the company stable? Have there been rumors of growth or rumors of downsizing? Is there a lot of business transformation going on around you? A key indicator of change is when a company is either growing or losing market share. This is why it’s important to be aware of key company trends. If things are going in the wrong direction, what options do you want to look at now?
Understanding your self and your relationships are important to ensure your career is on track. In Part 3 of this series, I’ll discuss how networking impacts your relationships and your career.
What relationships stood out for you as important to cultivate? List these and prioritize. In listing them, what actions are you ready to take to build and strengthen these important individuals in your career.
Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.
For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com