Some newbie networkers may think that networking is, roughly speaking, talking to other people outside of your office walls. That’s not true. People in your company are also very important for your wide web of connections – it’s corporate network.
Yes, you are working in the same company, but that doesn’t automatically connect you. That only happens on LinkedIn. Internal networking is beneficial for large companies and corporations, but even in the small organizations sometimes people don’t spend enough time getting to know each other.
Networking within your company (corporate network) is important if you are looking to:
- Move up the career ladder
- Switch departments
- Make the processes in your current department smoother
- Make an impact on an overall performance of the company
- Create stronger relationships with your coworkers
Attending company networking events is a must. Not just because your boss said so, but because it is great for you. If you are not into parties or other “team-building” events the company throws at you, see the silver lining in the opportunity to hang out with people you normally don’t spend time with. I remember, one time the company I worked for, took everyone to Fun Spot – a little theme park with a Slingshot swing-ride to make us bond. Read: strap a pair of coworkers on the chairs and shoot them to the moon and back. I chickened-out and enjoyed the role of a spectator, but I also had some really good conversation with a manager from another team who gave me some ideas for my future career path.
These corporate networking events may be one of the best tools to practice all the amazing networking skills you have learned. Your job is your icebreaker. No need to try to come up with a forced punch line. Someone can even introduce you, especially if you have agreed to it in advance. But, honestly, you don’t even have to wait until the next corporate networking activity. Use an opportunity to exchange few words in an elevator or a break room. In any case, make sure you properly follow up with the person you have spoken with. It can be an email summarizing something you have discussed and agreed upon or just to thank them for their time.
Don’t mistake networking for something that happens only outside of office or online. It can happen every day inside your office. It is more productive than a small talk at the cooler or worse, entertaining someone’s complaining