I attended “FindSpark Next” at the Wix Lounge. It was an immersive professional development event for young professionals that are looking for ways to get to the next step in their careers. The next step could be obtaining a different job. The next step could be moving up to a mid-level or managerial role in the company you’re in.
Networking shouldn’t stop once you’ve obtained a job that you want. You should network in your company. This will help you to build work relationships that can help you learn about the company’s culture. This can also put you in a favorable light to moving up within the company. When networking internally, you should consider your internal brand, mentorship and how you make connections.
- Internal Brand: Think about how you want people to see you in the company. Do you want to be the problem solver?Alexandra Finkel, the Editorial Operations Director at Bustle says that you can teach yourself a lot of things. By teaching yourself things, you become more valuable. “Get every skill you can to make sure you are awesome at your current job”- Finkel
- Mentors: When thinking about mentorship, you should have mentors in and outside of the company. Consider the individuals whose career paths are similar to yours. Consider the careers of those that you aspire to. Consider who is useful to you in learning from them.
- Making Connections: When you meet someone at your company, ask them to introduce you to someone new at the company. An essential component of networking internally is being able to communicate effectively. Therefore, Tiffany Chiao, the Marketing Operations Coordinator at HBO recommends that you become better at small talk. “Make connections and invite others out to lunch. Be sure to ask a lot of questions. Ask people what you can do better” – Chiao
Leadership & Management
Are you at the stage where you want to move on to a managerial role? Do you see yourself in a leadership role but don’t know how to get there? Know that in your present role, you are your advocate. You should do amazing work and ensure that it’s noticed.
Michelle Corbett, the Manager of the Talent Development team at L’Oreal says that you don’t have to say yes to every task. However, you should establish yourself as someone in the company who is reliable and credible.
“Bring value to the company. Always be the person who makes great points. Be the person who speaks up in a polite manner.” – Corbett.
Problem Solving: Those in leadership and management positions look for solutions. Therefore, keep your eye out for things that need to be done in the company but aren’t yet. You should be proactive in coming up with solutions.
Diversity & Inclusion
Juliette Austin, the founder of FrankEvan Consulting’s began the discussion on diversity & inclusion. She said it’s important to find your authentic voice. The less you are yourself, the less trust and confidence you build. She says that the more comfortable you are with yourself, the more you can show up in the company.
Communication: Understand what the fears of your colleagues are. Be careful with how you speak to others. It’s important to use the right words to deliver a message in a way that others will understand.
Staying Creative & Innovative
Do you have ideas but don’t know how to present it? Do you want to be creative but are feeling stuck?
- Presenting Ideas: When you have an idea, discuss it and articulate it. Have a strong perspective. That way, you consider how to present your ideas in a strategic way. If people do not approve of the idea, dig deeper. Find out what it is about the idea they don’t like. You should ask questions on how to make things work.
- Staying Creative: Have a community of creative like-minded people outside of work that will offer insight and inspiration. Also, it might be great to have side projects. Create fun challenges for yourself in your spare time. Find a pocket of time to do other things that will shift the focus to creative work that makes you happy.