The C.A.R.E.S Success system is a proven, transformative personal development system I created—which stands for Connect to my truth and purpose, Align what I want and where I am today, Rise above my own real and fictitious challenges, Envision the future I desire, and Seek support and serve.
It was through applying these five strategies that I connected with my most powerful self yet and approached and embraced my role as a leader at work and at home from a place of personal power. I first heard the term personal power from Tony Robbins who describes it in his book, Unlimited Power, as the ability to take action. I use it here to mean the ability to harness all your resources—mind, body, and spirit, and take action.
Talented professionals at all levels of management who apply these strategies develop their confidence, self-worth, and unique value proposition to strategically position themselves for success in their companies and accomplish their most cherished professional and personal goals.
The purpose of the Rise Strategy in the C.A.R.E.S. Success system is to explore personal or institutional challenges that may be hindering your professional or personal progress. You can identify gaps and real challenges relating to your skill set that you can ameliorate with your attention and effort. Still, as a professional, other significant external and internal forces may be at play and getting in the way of your advancement or ability to thrive in your career and life. In the Rise Strategy, you have an opportunity to explore what those outside and underlying forces are for you.
The following piece is an excerpt from my #1 bestselling book released October 2017, Fearless Women at Work: Five Powerful Strategies to Thrive in Your Career and Life!
Build Your Informal Networks
The McKinsey&Company’s and LeanIn.org study, Woman in the Workplace 2016, found that lack of access to informal networks is a big problem for women; it’s one of the factors holding them back. More men have access to the “old boys’ club” and to senior leaders who may in the future become sponsors.
This is why it’s so important to build 360◦ relationships, which is how informal networks are built. When we focus on building our relationships and genuinely and authentically connect with people around us—the people who are at our level, who are reporting to us, and the people who are above us— you’re building camaraderie. People are getting to know you on a deeper level in addition to knowing you professionally.
This applies to both women and men.
When you’re communicating, connecting, and networking with the people you work with and those outside your company, you gain access to what is happening around the company in different departments and groups.
You can uncover other business priorities around the firm, which can be complimentary or inform your organization’s priorities.
You can leverage the information to add more value within your role because you understand the bigger picture for your business and your firm.
When you’re isolated in your own little bubble, you can’t develop a wide perspective and miss out on opportunities to do so.
Beyond helping you keep your ear to the ground and connecting with the people you spend most of your day with, your informal network can support you as you pursue a new role or set your intentions on a stretch assignment.
This is where it’s also relevant and important that, above anything, you communicate clearly, develop an expertise, work well with others, deliver results, and display good character. People talk, and as opportunities become available—when you’re appreciated for your work and integrity, when you’re “top of mind,” perform at the top of your game—people in your network will be more than willing to throw your name in the hat or give you an informal recommendation with the hiring manager.
Your informal network becomes a built-in mechanism to have people advocate
for you, even when you don’t ask for it.
And of course, you reciprocate with others in your network.
Leaders within your company and outside are always looking for great talent.
We fall short on qualified, exceptional individuals and crave finding the right person to join the team—people who believe in the company’s vision and who are good employees and good leaders.
So, when you are one of those great individuals and create your network, the word gets around. Before you know it, people will be reaching out to you with different opportunities within your company or outside your company.
Just as there is no HR policy that can mitigate unconscious biases, there’s no company policy that can help you build your informal network. It’s up to you to build it.
Your new job, your next promotion, your next step up the ladder, your
financial well-being, all depend on it.
In the meantime…
Be fearless! (act despite the fear)
Dr. Ginny A. Baro is a Fortune 100 executive coach for talented professionals at all levels of management, a speaker, and #1 bestselling author of Fearless Women at Work. For more of her work, join her community to receive valuable strategies delivered to your inbox and access today for free Chapter 11 of her new book to learn how to tap into your unique leadership style, career and life ambition, earning power, and more! Read other articles on her blog, get a copy of her new book, and join her courageous conversations on GCA Studios. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Originally published at https://www.fearlesswomenatwork.com/single-post/2017/12/13/How-to-Leverage-Informal-Networks-in-Your-Career-And-Life