We all know that networking is really important for assistants. There are plenty of external networking events out there but really the first place to start with building your network is within your organisation.
It is important that you know and get on well with your team and your department but it is equally as important that you know as many members of staff as possible and you have contacts within other departments. A well-connected assistant will benefit their Executive immensely. They will know what is happening in other parts of the business, they can keep their Executive up to date on any developments within the business and they will increase their overall awareness of the business objectives.
Here are a few of my tips on how to network with other departments.
- Firstly, you have to take advantage of your position. You are an assistant to a senior member of staff which means everyone will know who they are and in turn will know who you are. I’ve found this very helpful over the years because I haven’t had to explain my role in the organisation or which department I work in – everyone just knows. Being an assistant to an Executive means that you will often have to speak to other departments and arrange meetings with your Executive and your colleagues. In those situations always make sure you introduce yourself so that other members of staff know who you are and what you look like.
- The first group of people within other departments who you should get to know are the assistants. If you don’t know every assistant in your organisation make sure you say hello next time you are passing through their department or drop them a quick email to introduce yourself.
- Socialise with people from other departments. As I said you should know all of the assistants in your organisation so start by inviting them to your department drinks and hopefully they will return the invitation. If you see someone from your organisation in a social setting go over and introduce yourself, next time you see them in the office corridor it will be easier to say hello and strike up a conversation.
- Put yourself forward for cross-departmental projects. It is much easier to get to know someone if you are working on a project together. During meetings make sure you contribute to the discussions and also make sure you are proactive in the work you take on. Once the project is complete make sure you keep in touch with every member of the team including those in other departments. Oh and remember to organise a celebratory drink once the project is finished – it is much better to get to know other people in an informal setting.
- If your organisation has any social groups such as a sports team, book club or poker night do make sure you go along to one of them. It is a great way to get to know other people within your organisation and network with other departments.
- Ensure you know what every other department in your organisation does. This information should be available on your intranet. It is much easier to network with other members of staff if you know what they do and how they fit into the business.