If you are frustrated and even somewhat confused about why your colleagues who may be less talented and certainly not as hard working often get recognition and promotions more often and much earlier than you…there may be one main reason. You are not taking the time to build meaningful relationships in the workplace. Not altogether surprising; women tend to believe, more often than men, that if they work hard and keep quiet, someone will eventually notice.
I agree with Carla Harris, Vice Chairman of Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley when she says, “Early in a career, overachieving will bring you recognition and pay, but over time, relationships are more valuable if you want to advance.”
As you continue to grow in your role; there will be an expectation that you will deliver at a high level and your consistent performance loses some of its value. When you, however, also invest your time in people and relationships you become more valuable. Harris further states that; “Relationships are built on the frequency of touch points. A relationship doesn’t mean knowing someone’s deep, dark secrets. It’s making sure people feel they know you well enough that they can pull you over the margin when a group is making decisions behind closed doors.”
At some point, it will not matter how hard you work or how smart you are. You will eventually need relationships in order to grow your career. Over the years I have interviewed and coached many successful leaders; all who had one thing in common; they had mentors, champions, advisors or sponsors whose support and guidance helped get them to the next level.
Start today seeking and building those meaningful relationships. They can turn out to be the most important resources in your career toolkit!