[insert-author-info] Do you invite people who are NOT in your department for coffee or lunch just to get to know them? If you said no, you are not alone! Many people cringe at the idea of networking within their own organization. I think it’s because it’s not in the job description, or maybe it’s the fear of being perceived as playing company politics. But if you said no, you are also doing yourself a big disservice! Internal networking can broaden your horizon both professionally and personally, raise visibility as an expert in your field, and create new opportunities that you otherwise would never have known about. It’s no secret that being resourceful is important to being successful in your job, but how do you get started? Here’s how:
  • Change the way you think! Internal networking is about learning and knowledge sharing in which both parties benefit. A “win-win” situation!
  • Put it on your calendar. Invite one co-worker a month (that you do not already know) out to lunch. Bring a book, a magazine, an article or something else that the other person will appreciate.
  • No excuses. If you don’t have time for a long lunch, invite someone for a quick 15 minutes of coffee and conversation.
  • Be interested and interesting! Teach and learn best practices. What do you do right? Where do you need improvement? Having conversations with people with different backgrounds can provide fresh perspectives and bring new ideas to your role.
  • Seize the moment! (Take the opportunity) When asked to do a lunch and learn, write a blog, or show your expertise in any other way, go for it.
  • Have fun and make new friends along the way!