NOTE from John: This is a guest post by career expert Bozi Dar. I met Bozi a few months ago and I was impressed with his advice and tips for networking your way to a job promotion. Take it away, Bozi.
Have you ever found yourself saying "I should network more"?
If the answer is yes, I'd like to introduce you to Monika.
Monika is an HR executive in a large Fortune 100 company. She is a very competitive, high achiever type of person. She likes to win and prove that she can overcome significant challenges.
Over the last three years she's been working long hours at her job and delivering top results. She didn't network too much as she always believed that her results should speak for themselves.
In June last year, she felt she was ready for a job promotion.
She opened a conversation with her boss about a potential job promotion, only to find out that a new job role that Monika was eyeing for quite some time was given to one of her colleagues. To make things worse, this person was a recent hire.
She felt frustrated and disappointed. Worst yet, she didn't see a clear way forward.
"It made me think that I am doing something wrong or that what am I doing is not good enough," said Monika. "I also realized I was not really putting enough effort behind in terms of how I expose myself, how I ensure that I am really committed to the right people in the organization, and if I leverage my mentors as much as I could."
In fact, most professionals like Monika know that networking is beneficial for their career but they either never do it (and feel guilty about it) or they network with too many people, damaging their credibility and creating a reputation for themselves as a person that cares more about his/her image than getting the work done.
In this article, we will show you how to network like a real pro for a big job promotion. Once you learn this skill, you will have an unfair advantage when it comes to career success, and you will be in a better spot than 95% of people around you.
Here are the two big questions you need to answer if you want to gain an unfair advantage through networking:
- WHO should I network with?
- WHAT should be my goal?
Let's talk about the first question.
There are only four types of people your need to network with if you want to land a big job promotion (I call them "four magic circles of influence"). And for each of these four types, you need to understand their power, their goal and finally, your goal.
The first person you need to network with is…your boss! Even though this may sound obvious, most people neglect the relationship with their boss, trying to find a faster work-around….only to find out that it never works.
The second person if your future boss (hiring manager for your next role)
The third person (or group of persons) are your future peers.
The fourth person is what I call the "influential person to your future boss".
Let's discuss each of these.
Your boss has the power to block your next move. Independent of whether you want to get the next level job in the same company or in the outside company, in today's open world, your boss can easily block you.
His goal is to be successful, look successful and have a great player on his team. Your goal should be to get your boss to endorse your career advancement plan and actively help you find the next level role.
His power is, quite simply, to hire you. However, his biggest fear is that he made the wrong choice and hired a person who cannot deliver. That is why his main goal will always be to make sure that you are the right person for the role.
Your goal is to prove that you are the right choice, through choosing projects that can help you build specific skills you need for the future job and at the same time, make you highly visible to your future boss.
The role of future peers is often underestimated. However, future peers have a great power which is the power to create a negative perception of you.
This can happen through a seemingly benign conversation between your future boss and one of your future peers, in which your future peer can voice a concern about you based on an experience of working or interacting with you.
Such small, seemingly unimportant corridor chat can erase your chances of getting the job promotion overnight. The goal of your future peers is to have a new colleague who they know, trust and like.
That is exactly why your goal is to get them to know you, like you, and trust you, through making a conscious effort to get close to them.
Influential peer of your future boss
This person is sometimes hard to identify but if you do it right, you will not just be able to get promoted faster, you will have a powerful mentor to bring you under his wing throughout your whole career.
This is typically a person who your colleagues often talk about, the person who your boss often quotes, a person who has strong body language and way more influence than what his job title says.
The power of this person is to get you hired for the next job by influencing your future boss. His goal is to exercise power and influence and to prove that he is right.
That is why your goal is to get visibility, and to get him to know you, like you and trust you. The fastest way to do it is to turn this person into your mentor.
Monika implemented the above-mentioned steps and scored a job promotion in just four months. In her own words: "The trick really is following the proven networking framework and implementing it in a step-by-step manner. If you do that, results come effortlessly".
There you go – you now know exactly who to network with and what your goal should be. Using the framework like this one will save you a great amount of time and effort and help you to land a big job promotion without working harder or playing office politics.