How to build stronger work relationships to reach the next level

Twenty Ten Talent - How to build stronger work relationships to reach the next level

Finding a good job is tough. Figuring out how to progress to the next level in your career can feel even harder. According to a study released this week by the Center for Talent Innovation only 6% of black millennials, without access to financial privilege, say they have rewarding relationships and growth opportunities at work.

We all know that cultivating rewarding relationships with leaders in our field is key. Building a network of strong relationships within your company, and your industry, will help open doors. But making this happen doesn’t always feel straightforward, especially if you’re at the early stages of your career.

If you want to create growth opportunities at work there are 7 important questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. How do I want to be perceived and how can I build a solid reputation?
  2. What is my immediate career goal?
  3. Who are the role models I respect in my industry?
  4. Which leaders are making a difference in my company?
  5. What training opportunities are available at my company to accelerate my professional development?
  6. Who in my company has an area of expertise that I want to acquire?
  7. How can I expand my work contribution and show initiative?

Take time to think through these questions and jot down your responses. This will help you map out people, resources and potential opportunities that are aligned with where you want to be. Even after you’ve done that, you should go back and review and reassess your responses on a regular basis. Building relationships takes time, it doesn’t happen overnight, but taking the time to do a self assessment will help you get the ball rolling.

Remember actions speak louder than words and your performance and attitude at work will speak volumes. Building a reputation for great work is a crucial first step, and that takes time, hard graft and persistence.

Even if you are fully occupied with getting your job done to the best of your ability, try to carve out time to research and apply for personal development and training opportunities. Participate positively in all the meetings you are part of, whether they are large or small. Show up, contribute and be consistent. Make a point of attending company events. Build trust by being supportive of others. Be enthusiastic about the work your company does. Share opportunities and information with people who will benefit from it. Ask smart questions. Don’t be totally self-serving when you network with others. Listen, engage and figure out how you can add value based on your area of expertise.

If you start to adopt the mindset that relationship building is a continuous part of your job and career development, you’ll be headed in the right direction. Make the investment and commit to keeping at it.

Post by Octavia Goredema @OctaviaGoredema

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