How Important is Internal Networking for Promotion?

How Important is Internal Networking for Promotion?

Internal Networking for Promotion

Any reputable company should base internal promotion decisions on a fair assessment of the various candidates’ skills and experience, and not make such decisions based on friendship alliances and the like.

Nevertheless, internal networking could have an important role to play if you are seeking a promotion, or seeking a sideways move into a role that you really fancy doing.

This is because internal networking allows you to demonstrate some of the skills your company may be looking for when seeking to fill senior positions. Internal networking allows you to demonstrate verbal communication and interpersonal skills, allows you to demonstrate your knowledge of your line of work, allows you to talk about what you have been working on, and generally gives you the chance to demonstrate that you are friendly and personable.

So try seeking out senior management and/or human resources representatives and get talking to them. Opportunities for this may arise:

  • At company social events
  • At internal or external training events
  • At lunchtime, say in the canteen or the local sandwich shop
  • As you are arriving at work, or leaving at the end of the day
  • If you are allocated to a project team that brings together staff from more than one area of the company

Consider if you can volunteer for extra tasks, or for special projects, as this might bring you into contact with senior staff (i.e. decision makers for internal vacancies) who you might not normally have dealings with. Ask your line manager about any opportunities that may exist in this area.

Alternatively, consider starting a work-based sports team; or a group that pursues a common interest at the evenings and/or weekends, such as a walking group, a photography group, a charity fundraising group, an arts & culture group etc. People from all levels of the company are likely to be involved in any such group.

Above all, when carrying out any form of networking, listen carefully to what the other person says and respond accordingly. From your point of view, the purpose of internal networking may be to promote yourself, but don’t hog the conversation unduly, or it might become obvious to everyone else what your true motives are.

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