In-House Networking: How You Can Expand Your Career Opportunities in the Workplace

Being new is never easy, whether it’s stepping into a new classroom full of kids at school, or stepping into a new office full of coworkers as an adult.  It’s hard to “insert” yourself into the various cliques or groups that are already established in any given place, and often, it seems easier just to quietly keep to yourself during the day. However, this is not the best decision if you have hopes of being in that particular office long-term, or have goals of eventually moving up the ladder.  Break times, lunch hours, office parties, and that classic “time around the water cooler” can revolutionize your career through networking if you know how to do it the right way!

Want some tips from the pros? 

Mealtimes (and Breaks) Matter. Even if you feel awkward and intimidated by finding someone to eat with, if you see a group of coworkers at a table or gathered in the break room, give yourself a pep talk to bolster your confidence and ask if there’s another seat or if you could join them.  More often than not, they’ll be happy to welcome you in, and by being friendly with groups that are established, you can learn a little more about the social structure and existing hierarchy within that specific office. Finding where you fit gives you a foot up in knowing how to climb the social ladder, and hopefully, the career ladder in that particular place of business. 

Initiate!  If you aren’t invited in by others when you come into a new office or work environment, look for other employees that tend to be alone just like you. Go to them, and ask if they’d like to join you during your morning walk around the parking lot for exercise, or if they’d like to go grab lunch at a nearby eatery.  This shows that you have leadership skills and confidence in yourself, and that can go a long way in helping you stand out in an office environment.

Be friendly with everyone.  Just because you might not fit into a certain group and become an integral part of that “clique”, at least attempt friendly acquaintances with everyone in the office where you work.  You never know who might end up being your boss one day! By keeping up with names and faces, perhaps making notes and sending an email on birthdays, and being the person everyone can count on to have the coffee pot ready in the break room, you’re building relationships that can carry far beyond those initial weeks on a new job. 

We hope these tips help end some of your anxiety as you head into your new job each day.  If your nerves come instead from not having a current job, you’re in the right place!  PHR Staffing Solutions is your one-stop for finding employers looking for qualified applicants throughout the greater Polk County area and beyond.  Give us a call, or apply for one of our current openings online and get hired!