Networking and Building Relationships (Part 1)
Soft skills to advance your career
Soft skills to advance your career
This article is part of a series of useful tips to help you find success in networking within your company. Networking plays an important part in our professional lives, starting from our job search, continuing to joining and working in a company, and finally, advancing our careers. Contentment and success in the workplace can be made be possible by networking and building relationships with our co-workers.
When you work as an analyst, you are expected to work with a team of professionals with different personalities, work ethics, knowledge, skills, and experiences. You may end up working with a group of people, some of whom have some similarities with you, and some who are the complete opposite of who you are. Regardless, you should learn early on, especially while you’re still in college or university, to quickly adapt to your surroundings and to work with a diverse group of people to achieve a common goal.
An analyst interacts daily with his or her colleagues to share ideas, ask questions, tackle a problem, work on a project, or update each other about the progress of their own tasks. Moreover, meetings are very common in the workplace and often take place on a regular basis. There are plenty of opportunities for networking and working alongside your colleagues.
You may find yourself in a situation where you just don’t agree with a co-worker. Depending on how vocal you are with your thoughts, comments, and opinions, you may probably get the urge to criticize and condemn that person for not thinking like you and producing the same level of work as you do. It’s easy to fall into this trap without knowing consciously that you’re doing it. This is an unwise move to make, especially if you’re trying to build long-lasting and meaningful connections within the company you work in.
Too much criticism against someone can hurt your chances of building a professional relationship with that person. In fact, they may bear resentment towards you and find you unpleasant to work with. This can negatively impact your chances of working well with others again in the future.
If you try to focus more on acknowledging and congratulating the good behavior of people, while politely pointing out areas for improvement, they will treat you with respect instead of avoidance and rejection of your ideas. They will think more positively of you.
A person is willing to learn faster and retain more of what they learn if he or she is commended for the good things they do, as opposed to being criticized for the things they do less well. Remember that criticism, especially a destructive one, can hurt a person’s pride and make a person feel less important. Instead of quickly criticizing a person, we should work to understand why people are as they are.
Learn to appreciate every person you meet within the company. As mentioned earlier, you will get a chance to come in contact with them or even work alongside them on a regular basis. Sometimes, we don’t take the time to appreciate other people’s work, even when there’s a lot to be learned from it. Within your first several months as an analyst, you will often have mentors or senior analysts who will guide and train you to get the most out of your job. These people are taking their time to share their knowledge and experiences with you, so that you will perform well and eventually advance in your career.
An honest and sincere appreciation for others can really go a long way. For those who have helped us, the least we can do is highlight their strengths and let them know they have been valuable in helping us become better analysts. By showing genuine appreciation, you, too, are helping others become more successful because you are giving them a positive perception of themselves. This brings out greater enthusiasm for their work and also improves their motivation to succeed.
Be specific with your praise and encouragement. The more details you provide, the better, because it really shows that you’re not simply making a shallow or insincere statement. Once they are aware of the beneficial impact they have on your work performance, your colleagues are more likely to help you again the next time around.
Once you start working, your colleagues expect you to put in your best effort. You were chosen for the role because they believe you meet all the qualifications, and that you are truly a value added to the company. What they want is for you to make their job less difficult by making sure you deliver on your responsibilities. They expect that you can manage to produce your work on time, while maintaining high standards and quality. As you do so, you make your team, especially your superiors (the VPs and MDs) look good.
Put yourself in your co-worker’s shoes to see their point of view. They want to succeed in their jobs just as much as you do. Senior roles such as the VPs or MDs, for example, are more client-facing, and therefore aim to establish great business relationships with corporate clients. To create long-lasting and beneficial relationships, your company must provide exceptional service, including finishing projects on time, providing optimal advice through trusted expertise, and helping clients achieve greater profitability in various ways. These are achievable if you perform your role well. Doing well in your job not only makes you look successful, but also make your supervisors successful because you show that you are reliable, capable, and industrious.
You will be working in a team composed of individuals with different desires and wants for their career. The head of your group will certainly want to bring new clients to the company. You can make his job easier by doing your part exceptionally well, such as building pitch books and financial models in investment banking. If you give them what they want, then you will certainly get what you want out of your career in the future, such as a promotion, salary raise, or more important and bigger responsibilities for a new project. Your goals and those of the people you work with should be aligned. That way, each party gains from working together.
You show your colleagues, through your work ethic, that they can reach their desires. It is essentially helping them get what they want. As a result, you play a part in the success of your team members. In return, you, too, will get what you’re looking for out of your job – business relationships and networking, referrals, advancement in your career, or bonuses, for example.
Thank you for reading part one of CFI’s guide to networking and building relationships. To learn more, see the free CFI resources listed below: