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Friday, February 6, 2009

How to Network Inside Your Company

Once you have been in a job some length of time, you generally have met people from different organizations who perform different functions from you. In some cases, the meeting is serendipity, or it is required cross-group teaming.

This type of networking is good for your career, and if properly maintained, can lead to new positions in the company and possibly promotions.

The best tools to network internally are organizational charts, corporate directories, and existing contacts. To use these tools effectively is not difficult. Need an easy online web conferencing solution without an installation? Try Dimdim, it's easy, open and affordable. Sign up Now!

Suppose you are interested in how the company markets itself. Start by asking your colleagues and management what and who they know about the Marketing team. If they don't know, consult the corporate directory for the names of Marketing team. If necessary, cross check with available organizational charts to determine if you are calling a VP or a peer.

Often a blind call to the target organization will yield new people to call or at least, a direction to follow. In general, people like to help others and most would be willing to put you on the right track. Additionally, people like to talk about what the do, so gather additional knowledge along the way.

Once you have identified a contact, arrange a phone call, lunch meeting, or just a simple email to introduce yourself and make clear your reason for contact. Be willing to offer your knowledge and experience to help the contact do their job better. Like any relationship, there has to be a give and take, so be prepared to give. Executives & Professionals: Changing Jobs?

As you repeat this process, not only will you learn more about your company, but also who pulls the levers of power. As you build and nurture relationships, you can consider new possibilities and ask you contacts for the inside track. Be ready to return that favor!

Finally, building your corporate network also allows others to see you as a point of contact for your group. When people begin to rely on you for information, it builds your reputation and influence. Increased visibility and a good reputation are two of the key ingredients to building a successful career. So, use the resources available and build your network!

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