In the day-to-day, it can be easy to overlook the importance of your professional relationships — but building and maintaining a network of valued superiors, coworkers, teammates, employees and valuable industry connections is essential to your long-term professional success.
From maneuvering friendships in the workplace to asking someone you admire to be your mentor, it is imperative to be smart about the way you navigate professional relationships with the people you encounter on your career path. These relationships can begin to develop as early as your first-round interview, and down the road they can be the key difference between getting a promotion or getting laid off.
Your ability to build and maintain professional relationships is key to your long-term career success. You will need the following tools to get there:
- Education: Observe the people around you, read articles and books on professional success, and learn from your mistakes. All of these tools will make you a better employee, assistant, leader or boss. Personal and professional growth are often closely linked, so take advantage of every opportunity you have to expand your perspective and fine-tune your skills — you never know when a unique experience may come in handy.
- Inspiration: Building a network of valuable professional relationships is much easier when you’re bringing something to the table, so focus on being the type of person you want to have in your network — generous, knowledgeable, humble, and well-connected.
- Action: Make it a priority to stay in touch with the people in your network, and not only when you need something! Nurture your professional relationships and attend industry events to expand your circle of connections. Commit to taking action by joining a mastermind group with other like-minded professionals who will hold you accountable.
Putting time and energy into your professional relationships is a crucial part of building a successful career. Make your network into a priority, treat everyone with respect and kindness, and you are sure to be rewarded.